This house is in the new phase of the Zimbali Coastal Resort, a large gated Eco Estate on the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal.

Zimbali is south of Ballito and just on the coastline with rolling hills and valleys.


Client was from Johannesburg and wanted to develop a special house for holidaying and possibly later living and commuting to Johannesburg.

It was to be a  house where one could relax, entertain, and enjoy the beautiful views of the coastal strip with family and the many friends.

The Client was of Greek descent and we felt the need to incorporate – where relevant – aspects of that culture’s architecture.


Sub tropical climate on the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal.


Situated on one of the highest points on the Estate on an old secondary dune.

The site is a steep southward facing slope with magnificent views, but into the coastal wind.

The town planning scheme allows a maximum 500 sqm house. The estate guidelines control the impact a house may have on the views of others behind by restricting height along the rear road boundary and ensuring the house does not exceed 7.6m above the natural slope of the original land.

The Estate Architecture of this section of the Estate requires one to follow the design ethos of the Arts and Crafts movement or a sub tropical architecture with natural materials, earthy tones and protected courtyards and terraces.


The house is the antithesis of many houses in the Estate in that it sits on and around the footprint lines and leaves the centre of the footprint open as a grassed courtyard with a long lap pool up against the bush on the one side. The perimeter build is designed to be transparent so as to allow views to the sea from the courtyard.

The house and panoramic view are unique in the estate where the protected inner courtyard has wide vistas of the sea through the completely glazed bottom floor of the house. The courtyard is another big entertaining “room”.

The requirement for overhangs to provide protection from the natural elements in a tropical climate as required by the guidelines is achieved with top floor cantilevering window boxes with continuous window and aluminium adjustable shutters. All rooms upstairs have wall to wall and floor to ceiling views of the sea with the shutters giving privacy and weather control when desired or required.

The courtyard within the footprint of the house, outdoor terraces, pool and outside staircase, colours, roof terrace and interior décor were all part of the concept.

The house has 4 bedrooms all en-suite on the first floor and all with uninterrupted sea views.

There is a family tv lounge upstairs, double volume passage space and glass staircase.

Downstairs is an open plan living area with kitchen, dining and lounge.

Large covered terrace with glass enclosure on sea side and open to courtyard permitting views through from the grassed lawn.

Double garage and double carport doubling as a play area/entertainment area also with sea views through the transparent main house building.

Total area of the house is 500 sqm with an approximate building cost of R9 000 000.

Construction materials include, clay imperial commons brickwork, smooth plaster painted, Iroko hardwood screens and cladding, Aluminium shutters,  windows and doors, polished concrete pavers, porcelain tiles, flat clay roof tiles, painted galvanized steel work, bespoke imported glass kitchen, glass and steel main staircase.

The cut and fill on the steep sloping site was balanced in the development of the design.

The brief was received in 2013.

Full Architectural appointment with a Structural Engineer, Quantity Surveyor with a BOQ and a Tendered Contract Construction commenced in 2013. Construction was completed in 2015.