Cotswold Downs 5215


The house is in a gated estate on the outer west of the city of Durban, an area somewhat attuned to the hill station of subtropical cities.


A contemporary Barn Style home suitable for family living and entertaining many friends.  A house which makes a statement in a refined way using materials with honesty, simplicity and yet boldly announced

Open plan living with options for living into various outdoor spaces depending on the weather


Hillcrest is an area with a cooler subtropical climate because of elevation and experienced lots of mist, drizzly days of rain, thunder and lighting, lovely sunny days and cool evenings.

Cotswold Downs is a large up market residential estate with a homes placed around the estates well know 18 hole golf course. It has a substantial estate administration and recreational facilities/centre. The terrain is characterized by rolling hills and valleys draining towards the Umgeni gorge. It is landscaped as coastal grassland with indigenous trees selectively placed.


The site falls in two directions and predominantly towards the golf course hole passing the front of the home. It is a prominent corner site close to an estate gatehouse and has residential sites on both side boundaries. Panoramic views are to the south over the golf course.

Sketches & Design Notes

The design set out to maximize the view of the rolling hills over the golf course driveway in front from all the private and public spaces in the home, to create courtyards flowing out from the living spaces which could enjoy the same and yet achieve privacy and shelter from neighbours and weather. Hence a lower-case h plan foot was chosen after a substantial site analysis process. The challenge due to the slope on the site and the estate architectural guidelines was that garage and office/guest bedroom above had to be accessible through the house and not just linked by a built element.


Hence the entrance is across the roof of the kitchen and dining room to the front door. Once opened the double volume space with the expansive vista through the double storey shopfront to the living area creates the wow. The bedrooms are on this level but sufficiently secluded in terms of access. One descends on a cantilevered concrete stair set in the volume to the lounge, dining, kitchen all open plan and also flowing out into the courtyards on either side of the kitchen. The lounge fireplace set in the shopfront heats the entire space effortlessly on the chilly evenings whilst the family enjoy the panoramic view of the mist rolling down the golf course.  The covered terrace off of the lounge is fitted out with a pizza/braai kitchen and a substantial stylish bar. A lap pool is placed in the courtyard off of all the living areas and for privacy a wall of local stone forms the backdrop and enclosure.

The house is a five bedroom house all ensuite with two bedrooms doubling up as guest and study/office options, open plan kitchen/ dining/lounge, frameless glass enclosed covered terrace/bar/braai screened room, laundry/scullery, triple garage, staff quarter, double volume entrance hall pool courtyard, kitchen breakfast terrace, front lawn. The site area is 1094m², house area 700m² , FAR 499m² and coverage 354m². Building commenced in <> and was completed in <> at an approximate cost of R6 000 000

The materials used were typical of contemporary barn structures used as a home or office, namely exposed steel, semi face brick, natural stone garden walling, timber cladding, slate roof tiles glass and aluminium, tiled and timber flooring. Likewise the building form is very simple and clear in its shape, ensuring a uncluttered strong bold statement similar to a true barn building

There were some challenging structural details with the staircase and steel work