If you’re looking for the ideal location to build a back to nature holiday retreat then you can stop the search because I think I found it. Surrounded by majestic mountain views, blue lagoon waters and unspoiled vegetation, the Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate is about as close to perfect as it gets. Sitting just east of Cape Town, the estate overlooks the Bot River Lagoon, encompassing vineyards, lavender fields and farmland. It also happens to be the site of SAOTA’s latest project, completed in collaboration with interior design studio ARRCC. Let’s take a closer look at this beautiful waterfront home.
Braving the Elements
Perched high overlooking the lagoon’s tidal estuary, the Benguela Cove plot boasts breathtaking views that look out across the coastline. But there’s a catch. This great natural beauty comes at a price, namely the harsh exposure to extreme elements. Sun, salt, rain and high winds – you name it, this plot gets it all. Cue an architectural design that is every bit as robust as it is aesthetically stunning.
“The setting for this house is spectacular – a slope of indigenous fynbos vegetation runs into the broad waters of a tidal estuary bordered by mountains.” – SAOTA
A mix of timber sidings, corrugated aluminium and industrial concrete make up the exterior of this waterfront home. Its unusual form of sheltered overhangs, carefully calibrated to provide shelter from the winds, feels decidedly modern, yet it’s still in keeping with the rural surroundings thanks to its structural references to the distinct local typologies of barns and fruit-packing sheds.
“Seen from the lagoon, the result is a memorable composition – at once a considered response to the contours and micro climate of the site, and a poetic narrative of shelter and outlook.” – SAOTA
A Hark to Heritage
Benguela Cove uses a ‘C’ shaped layout – an homage to the traditional alphabetic planning of the wings of traditional farms. Here, the wings serve to maximize outlook whilst creating a naturally sheltered courtyard in keeping with the owner’s desire for livable outdoor spaces.
Inside, this waterfront home embraces minimalist sensibility. An edited approach to the interiors emphasizes the striking beauty of raw natural materials. Think lots of woods, rattan and basket-weave alongside the more austere concrete and granite. Huge floor-to-ceiling windows wrap around the home, framing a seamless flow of indoor-outdoor living spaces. The result is a home which truly embraces the beauty of its surroundings.
“Through the use of rich materials and an edited color palette, the decor is seamlessly integrated, optimizing the sense of space.” – Mark Rielly, ARRCC
The kitchen is a particular highlight in this home. A solid granite island anchors the space, complemented by black finishes and wood accents. Structural pendant lighting hanging from the wood panel ceiling – a modern take on the rustic wood beams – completes the look, adding a touch of dainty elegance to the overall contemporary industrial vibe.
In Good Company
In addition to livable outdoor spaces, the owners of Benguela Cove wanted a home built for entertaining. Alongside the open plan living spaces, decor sourced from local design studio, OKHA, further reinforce the home’s social nature.
For instance, warm textiles, such as the bamboo silk Diamond Rug, provide a luxurious counterpoint to the exacting architecture. Meanwhile, a solid oak dining table, which seats up to ten people, is the perfect setup for a dinner party.
The two upper wings of the property house bedrooms with elevated views across the lagoon. Again, floor to ceiling sliding glass windows and a wooden deck have been employed to make best use of those 360 degree views.
The overall look of the room borders on the industrial, with its austere concrete walls and steel frames. A traditional log burner is just the thing to bring a cozy glow to the space come nightfall.
Overall, SAOTA and ARRCC have done a stunning job at making the most of the picturesque Benguela Cove site, using both architecture and interior design to showcase the natural beauty of this lagoon-side location. From the way the shadows fall on the staircase, to the way those steel frame windows capture the view just so, every inch of this waterfront home is Instagram-worthy. And let’s face it, that’s the ultimate stamp of approval in this social age.