The house is in Hawaan, the premier gated Estate in Umhlanga, an upmarket suburb of Durban and situated behind a coastal dune forest on the North Coast of Kwazulu Natal. Published in Habitat magazine in 2016.


Both spouses wished to have a home closer to their places of work and to enjoy the security and entertainment opportunity of a specifically designed home. It was to be a house with an emphasis on the entertainment terrace, dining room, pool and lounge with two very specific study designs and a staff flatlet for their long time house keeper.


The property experiences a sub tropical climate and the forest in front is a nature reserve where animals are able to move freely into the Estate.


The designed house is situated on a flat site within the Estate, set back from the front row which fronts directly onto the forest.

Panoramic seaviews to the south, east and north are possible from the second floor.

The site is square in shape with houses on all four sides with some large swamp hibiscus trees on the road side. The site is protected by the surrounding houses from coastal winds.

The town planning scheme allows a maximum of two storeys above existing natural ground. The coverage and FAR are 35%.

The Estate guidelines require the second storey not to exceed in area more than 50% the ground floor and the width of the top floor not to exceed more than 50% of the width of the property. Both are meant to allow properties behind to enjoy some seaview.

The roof height was restricted to 7.6 metres following the land slope. The Estate architecture was established by SAOTA following the contemporary style of their work on the Atlantic seaboard in Cape Town.


The house is designed in an H shape on the ground floor and the two legs are repeated on top without the joining middle section so as to comply with the Estate first floor width restriction.

On the top level are two wings with guest bedroom in one and main bedrooms with separate dressing and bathrooms for the main bedroom.

The top floor is accessed via two separate staircases. On the Main Bedroom wing is the husbands study which allows him privacy and seclusion.

Below is a repeat of the main bedroom wing except the second dressing room area is used as a gym. Off of this area is the wife’s study /home
office and a bathroom.

Both studies were designed to be a third and fourth bedroom in the future if necessary.


The study below and the dining room and kitchen look and work out onto a protected garden court with a rill and a small deck for reading and tea.

The front of the H shape plan has a large wide and deep terrace with a fire place and a built in bar facing onto a raised long lap pool as the focus of the terrace and house.

Also on the ground floor are the double garage, guest wc, entrance hall, laundry and scullery, lounge, dining room , gym, bedroom, study, dressing room, bathrooms.

Total area of the house is 638 msq and approximate building cost R8 000 000.

Materials used included, clay imperial brick,smooth plaster painted, Aluminium windows and doors, painted galvanized steel structure, porcelain tiled floors, concrete roof, natural grey balu decking and screens.


The brief was received in 2012.
Full Architectural appointment with a Structural Engineer, Quantity Surveyor with a BOQ and a Tendered Contract Construction commenced in 2013 and was completed in 2014 An interior designer was used early in the project for softs and furnishing.

The house with its very central covered terrace opening up from the dining room and lounge works well with the clients frequent love of entertaining in a relaxed fashion. The house is a mixture of imperial Indian and colonial period décor internally with a more contemporary exterior.