Sometimes the best design response to panoramic views of sky and coastline is a sculptural yet understated home.
This house sits on a hillside by the sea a good 20 minutes’ drive from the city. Architectural designer, interior designer and landscape artist on the project Michael Mansvelt, of Plantation Design House, says the coastal site had space for a dramatic approach and plenty of parking at the rear, as well as lawns, a pool and spa at the front.
Although the views are spectacular, the onshore winds can be severe in this area, which meant two different exterior treatments were needed, says Mansvelt.
Facing the sea, the exterior is a wall of glass, with the pool and lawns extending out in front of the home. On the approach side, the facade is largely in white-painted brick, with a lush garden that provides a sheltered outdoor area away from the prevailing wind.
“To defer to the setting, I designed a long, relatively slender house, ensuring almost every room can enjoy the sea views,” says Mansvelt.
“And to avoid detracting from the scenery, I wanted to create a design that celebrates simple geometric forms. The gullwing roof slopes down towards the middle of the house, creating two triangles, and the four corner columns also take this form. Lastly, a stone wall that divides the interior down the middle flares out as triangular blade walls at the front and back of the house.”
The stone wall anchors the house at its centre and creates a sense of strength, even though the extensive steel framing takes the weight of the structure.
“The ceiling follows the roof planes, so naturally, the house feels low at this centre point. This helps the raised outer ends of the residence feel even higher and lighter in contrast.”