Coastal House

Location: Pringle Bay, Western Cape, South Africa
Client: Four Seasons Trust
Status: completed 2015
Size: 352 m2

The spatial arrangement and structure grows directly from the landscape and responds to the ecosystems. All pristine vegetation and the seasonal wetland is preserved and the house is sited on the footprint of an existing house which was demolished.

Placed within the dynamic inter-tidal zone where land meets sea, the angular fragmented plan, bisected by the ecological pool, derives its spatial form from the site and the weathered patterns of the tidal zone. coastal thicket provides natural shelter from the shifting seasons, providing a place to live embedded in the ebb and flow of the dramatic landscape.

Heavy stone-clad boulder-like walls provide cavern-like protection from the South Easterly winds.  The house opens its heart to welcome the sea. A freshwater pool wedges between the heavy rock enclosure and the tumultuous sea, a place where sweet water meets salt - as if trapped in a gully. Floating angular light weight roofs coupled with shading screens create soft dappled light and shelter the envelope and mimic the wind cropped form of the coastal thicket. 

The favorable North orientation overlooking the sea allows for simple passive design principles to be deployed. Long overhanging eaves, shading screens and shutters, natural, local, renewable, nontoxic materials, natural lighting and ventilation, low energy systems, ecological pool and durable materials develops the robust sustainability of this coastal family home.

View Coastal House in Earthworks MagazineView Coastal House in Visi
On the southern side, protective stone walls provide a solid base for the fractured, wind-cropped roofs, all nestled in the coastal thicket. Light weight, sheltering canopies link the coastal thicket across the site The main bathroom which inhabits the eroded walls. The northern side of the building opens to the sea views. Layered roofs shelter the envelope while screens and shutters control daylight Unobstructed ocean views connect the living spaces to the landscape The fractured and eroded rocks of the landscape inspire surface intricacies. The living spaces happen in the habitable spaces formed between the rocks Cape clawless otters often make the natural pool their protected play area. The filtration system of the eco-pool fills the entrance forecourt with reflections and light. The house becomes a bridge over the water which flows beneath the dining space. Screening provides passive protection from glare and sunlight, while the pool casts lively reflections onto the house. Main bedroom with lightweight canopy framing the dramatic views. Image The first floor is orientated to optimize the spectacular views. The building is fully integrated with landscape and vegetation.