Beachyhead is a project designed by SAOTA in 2014. Located to the South of Beacon Isle in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa, this family holiday home measures 1,176m² (12,658ft²).
The house was conceived as a simple box, floating over the dune, capturing and framing the view. The outer shell of the box is finished in a rough textured concrete, contrasting with the smooth reveal and soffit that tapers to create a delicate frame.
“From the beach, the building is expressed as a stone plinth, representing “earth”, with the bedroom spaces appearing to float over it,” noted Mias Claassens, architect at SAOTA and member of the project team. The upper bedroom wing is finished in a natural sand coating, a direct response to the original dune on the site. In order to exploit the maximum height allowed on the site, the southern part of upper level is higher and appears to be sliced off from the northern part in a sculptural way. This opening extends vertically through the building, washing northern light through the deeper spaces of the house. “Stairs are delicately suspended within this carved opening, also allowing views through it and lit from a skylight above. The geometry of the staircase continues as a diagonal line that extends the cantilevering entertainment terrace towards Robberg,” said Phillippe Fouché.
When approaching from the road, the scale of the house is modest and the living spaces concealed on a lower level. Timber shutters provide privacy to the gallery-like bedroom passage above whilst protecting the façade from the afternoon sun. A strong horizontality is articulated in the entrance canopy which is planted with indigenous shrubs cascading over the slab edge. A stone wall introduces the plinth from the lower levels and appears to fall away as one steps down to the front door. The living space is column free with the bedroom wing above supported by a large sculptural fireplace. Oxidised copper, salvaged from discarded hot water cylinders, is woven to line the inner part of the fire place. This allows the colour of the ocean to extend visually into the living room as the primary focal point.
Photographs by Adam Letch
Visit site SAOTA