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.

Client Wishes

A house with as much transparency as could be achieved in an urban gated estate where, despite plantings, houses are close together.

This together with the open plan living, public and private spaces would permit the inside and outside to merge.

Client is a local developer, who wished to have his new home illustrate the type and quality of homes in his developments.

Climate & Enviroment

The property experiences a sub tropical climate.

The forest in front is a nature reserve where animals are able to move freely into the Estate.

Site & View

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

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

The sites are rectangular in shape with houses on all six sides.

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.

Sketches & Design Notes

Where required timber and concrete act as privacy screens and structural elements to support the floating roof and floor slabs.

Sea and garden views are maximized with the use of large panes of glass and minimal framing and structural support.

Glass as a smooth hi tech material and element is offset against the natural materials such as wood, stone, marble, plaster, leather and steel

Client is a local developer, who wished to have his new home illustrate the type and quality of homes in his developments. It is a show house with an emphasis on making a statement and having as many transparent external surfaces as possible.

The house has a water and fire feature at the entrance with the frameless glass shopfront which is also the front door. Immediately inside in the double volume hall is the floating marble clad, concrete staircase to bedrooms upstairs and the space below flows through into the open plan lounge/dining/kitchen/study and out into the garden.

A marble clad spine wall runs the length of the house defining the line between inside and outside to the north and towards the entertainment terrace, fire pit, jacuzzi and stair to the planted roof terrace.

The house is designed in an T shape on the ground floor and an I shape on the top floor with the top of the T being the I so as to comply with the Estates first floor width and area restriction

Upstairs are four luxurious bedrooms en suite, all shop fitted to the international Interior Designers specification and design. The main bedroom has its own tv lounge, open plan bathroom and dressing room with panoramic views of the ocean to the east and the roof garden to the north.

The client purchased the site in front during construction and the design was revised to use a 20m long lap pool to continue the spine theme through to a garden pavilion housing a gym, playroom, change rooms and cinema room. It also allowed the house to have a large lawn garden for children to play.

Total area of the house is 656 msq and approximate building cost of R9 000 000.

Materials used included, clay imperial brick, smooth plaster painted, frameless aluminium windows and doors, sealed balu cladding, marble flooring and clad walls, concrete roof, timber clad internal walls together with slate, caeserstone, copper, mirror and leather paneling.

The brief was received in 2014

Partial Architectural appointment with a Structural Engineer, Interior Designer and an owner builder. Construction commenced in 2014 and was completed in 2016.

The house has met the Client’s desire to entertain and market the lifestyle he has set his development company to achieve in their many exclusive homes they have and are building, developing and selling.