Dolphin Views and Dancing Sunlight at Beachyhead Home | NONAGON.style
Dolphin Views and Dancing Sunlight at Beachyhead Home

Dolphin Views and Dancing Sunlight at Beachyhead Home

Unobstructed views make this home a relaxing retreat

Isobel McKenzie
Written by –
Isobel McKenzie
on August 29th 2018
She's always struck by the architecture of a building. Originally from London, she is enthralled with the majestic collection of curves and lines that make up the British capital. It's fascinating to see how modern skyscrapers and historic landmarks muddle together in every city. Her Instagram feed is usually full of spiral staircases and tall buildings.
Project:

Beachyhead

Design:
Photographer:

Arranged to perfectly capture the beach views, the Beachyhead house in South Africa‘s Pletternberg Bay, is a beautiful single residence home. The house has undergone a huge renovation under the watchful eye of leading architectural firm SAOTA.

 

The handsome modernist look, with its smooth lines and striking interior features, make this home tour one not to be missed!

Exterior view of Beachyhead home tour | NONAGON.style

The home owners went to SAOTA with the dream of turning the original building into a relaxing yet elegant holiday home, responding to the site’s landscape and especially the beautiful views over the coastline.

 

Some of the main requirements for the home included making sure it was cozy and intimate for when there are only one or two of them in the house, yet open and welcoming enough to be suitable for entertaining guests. Striking the balance between these two things was a fun challenge.

Family home with beach-side views, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa | NONAGON.style

Another important aspect was of course making sure that the views didn’t get lost behind the walls. Zoning parameters created certain restrictions, while the sunlight and prevailing wind directions were important for the building design.

Garage door for family home with beach-side views, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa | NONAGON.style
Dramatic concrete boxes set at an angle and overlooking Plettenberg Bay, South Africa | NONAGON.style

What are the design inspirations for the home?

SAOTA: We work across the globe, and the starting point is always the context. In this case the site is just extraordinary, every element of the architecture relates to some aspect of the site. From the historic maps, we learned that years ago there was just a sand dune here, surrounded by indigenous planting. This information determined the height restriction and allowed the south of the building to be higher, where the top of the dune used to be. The split in the building became an obvious solution but finishing the building in the exact same color and texture of the beach and slicing through the building in an organic way was directly inspired by this dune.

Suspension staircase creates show stopper focal point in the living room | SAOTA's Beachyhead project in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa | NONAGON.style
Living room area and television room space in Beachyhead home | NONAGON.style
Television room in Beachyhead home tour, South Africa | NONAGON.style
Outdoor area, swimming pool and decking for Beachyhead home in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa | NONAGON.style
Outdoor area, swimming pool and decking for Beachyhead home in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa | NONAGON.style

Before the project started there was already a building on the site; a large, dark brick construction that really stood out in the space. It didn’t fully connect with the site, ignoring a lot of the topographical features and limiting the indigenous landscape only to the lowest part of the site.

 

But now, I think you can agree, the building with its different levels and playful use of materials feels perfect for the spot.

Before photos of the Beachyhead home before renovation | NONAGON.style
Before renovation
Outdoor area, swimming pool and decking for Beachyhead home in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa | NONAGON.style

Views from the house were as important as views of the house. Through focusing on the context and location of the site, the project was driven through a holistic narrative. The striking construction balances with shape and levels, and there are beautiful details both inside and out.

Relaxing back garden with housing arranged as dramatic concrete boxes that float over the site | Beachyhead home in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa | NONAGON.style
White kitchen island with concrete walls and a warm wood toned cabinetry | NONAGON.style
Warm wood toned cabinetry with white kitchen island | NONAGON.style
Calming blue wall feature in living room, with warm wood flooring | Beachyhead home tour, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa | NONAGON.style
Calming blue walls in living room with soft-toned wood | Plettenberg Bay, South Africa | NONAGON.style

Interiors were designed by award-winning team Cécile & Boyd. From calming blues and smooth warm tones in the living room, there are striking interior designs that compliment the architecture.

 

The staircase is a treat. The steps seem to be held in place with suspension cables. At the right time of day, the northern light streams through the ceiling skylight, animating the shadows along the curved wall and bouncing off the stainless steel cables.

Corridor with wooden flooring and white balcony | SAOTA's Beachyhead project in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa | NONAGON.style
Suspension staircase and chandelier combo creates show stopper focal point in the living room | SAOTA's Beachyhead project in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa | NONAGON.style
Stunning suspension staircase, Beachyhead home in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa | NONAGON.style

Views from the bedrooms are a treat, as waking up in the morning is a great time to catch marine animals in the bay. The timber shutters reduce the glare, and provide screening even with open windows.

Stunning views of the beach from the corner window of master bedroom | NONAGON.style

Of course, one of the great things about the house is the scenery! Ensuring unobstructed views does provide some challenges in design. Some of the columns were integral to the building support, even though ideally a panoramic view was desired.

 

What was the biggest challenge executing this project?

SAOTA: Most of our projects require some clever engineering to avoid columns. Columns invariably interrupt the serenity of an unobstructed view to the horizon. This is also why the window frames slide outside of the envelope of the building. The main living space measures just under 16 meters by 7.7 meters, completely unobstructed by internal columns. This required innovative solutions to optimize the structural solution.

Exterior facade of the Beachyhead home in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa | NONAGON.style

The owners are thrilled with their new home. One of their favorite things about it is how seamlessly they can entertain family and guests, moving from the northern courtyard garden around the pizza oven, or to the terrace towards the east watching the dolphins in the bay. For sunset, it’s enjoyable to sit out at the tip of the terrace to watch the last rays of light dance over the water, or enjoy evenings at the fire pit by the beach.

Outdoor seating area, Beachyhead home in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa | NONAGON.style

For the Beachyhead home, the unobstructed views are a delight. As light streams through, shadows play along the walls throughout the day. The rooms flow smoothly, but with sumptuously warm and soothing interiors that make the home feel calming and friendly. It’s hard to choose our favorite bit!

 

*This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Which room is your favorite? If you’re interested in other projects by SAOTA, check out the Benguela Cove lagoon-side retreat or this Gilbert Colyn home delicately refurbished with a zen-like feel.

 

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