Situated in the prestigious Zimbali Coastal Forest resort 45 minutes north of Durban, located on the east coast of South Africa, this three level structure is home to a young family of four.
Architect: Metropole Architects
Location: Zimbali Coastal Forest, South Africa
Design Architect: Nigel Tarboton of Metropole Architects
Project Architect: David Louis of Metropole Architects
Project Technician: Daniel Lewis of Metropole Architects
Interior Design: Olàlà Interiors Engineer – Davies Lister James Engineers
Contractor: Sygnatur Projects
Landscaping Designer: Progreen Designs
Landscaping Contractor: Ecobalance
Photography: Grant Pitcher
From the architect: With the architecture being subject to stringent estate design guidelines, dictating traditional roof forms, the design sought to create a vision that was in harmony with the neighbouring properties yet represented the individual taste and aspirations of the new home owner and desire for a progressive and dynamic architectural aesthetic.
Further considerations such as views, orientation, privacy and the prevailing sub tropical climate contributed to the detailing and overall finished product.
On approaching the home up the slightly inclined site, the structure looms large overhead as a series of daring cantilevers and flying beams on three levels commanding one's attention. At closer inspection, an exoskeleton comprising of aluminium screens and concrete elements is set proud of the building and veils the large glass façades of the home. This transparent outer skin layers the visual transition experience between inside and out, and is found on the front and two side elevations. The rear elevation has a monolithic raw concrete form that stretches the full extent and continues beyond the rear corners on either side of the home. This brutal element is interrupted only by intermittent horizontal linear glass slits positioned in what would appear to be random from the outside but are strategic internally.
Entering the home on the lower floor you are met with an internal rain feature where the water collects in a large internal / external water feature that forms the base of an elegant sculptural staircase.
The sensual curve of the staircase spiralling up and over the water below draws you up to the principal living level of the home with minimal effort. This level opens up to the kitchen, dining room, formal lounge, study and family room. The outdoor entertainment area occurs as a seamless extension to the open plan living space and finds itself positioned precariously under the projecting seven meter cantilever of the master bedroom above.
A double volume art gallery space encompasses the floating timber staircase that leads to the top level which accommodates 4 en-suite bedrooms. The T-shaped plan configuration of this level ensures that all the rooms have spectacular forest and sea views with increased privacy, comfort and intimacy. The result is a fitting termination to the experience of exploring this completed project!
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