Personal views expressed

This bespoke coastal home in Gold Coast Estate in KwaZulu-Natal, designed by Craft of Architecture, embraces effortless living and serene ocean views. 

The project team, led by John van Wyk, director of Craft of Architecture (COA),
designed this remarkable 960m2 family home situated on a picturesque hilltop in Gold Coast Estate,
a coastal precinct on KwaZulu-Natal’s North Coast. 

Van Wyk notes that the client selected this site because it offered panoramic views
with lines of sight to the waves breaking on the beach at the nearby village of Umdloti.
The starting point of the design thus became an axis running through the site to connect the
view to the front of the site with a sunny, sheltered garden towards the back.
Architecturally, the axis finds form in a transparent volume that runs all the way through the house,
while the overall layout is arranged around it, oriented toward the ocean and surrounding coastal views. 

“This home was envisioned with the utmost consideration for how the family aspired to live,” says van Wyk. The homeowners are an active, sociable family of five. “We wanted to create an environment that embraced their routines, facilitated their daily activities, and ultimately brought them joy. The home’s design is a reflection of their ideal living experience, ensuring each space encapsulates their unique personalities and preferences.”

The main character of the house and the most expressive element is a dramatic cantilevered roof that hovers over the internal spaces. “The architecture is clean, not too expressive on a particular style, but rather designed around the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast climate, the sea views, and where the privacy needs to be,” says van Wyk. 

Thus, the objective was “maximising transparency, creating seamless boundaries, and offering fluid, multi-use spaces throughout”. The overall arrangement blurs the boundaries between inside and out, while Van Wyk notes that it was important to balance each member of the family’s need for personal space with shared central gathering areas where they can be together. It was also important, he notes, to balance the larger social areas with more intimate spaces. This arrangement facilitates a simple but luxurious lifestyle suited to a coastal life and an effortless, uncomplicated setting for family members to coexist while allowing space and opportunity for individuals to be themselves.

Like the architecture itself, the interior design is characterised by clean lines, simplicity, and a kind of easy-going luxury that takes care not to compete with the dramatic views. The design of the bedroom wing balances the need for personal and communal spaces, although here, of course, separate rooms were a priority.

Rather than a passage, the bedrooms open onto a shared lounge, which in turn links directly to a sunny garden at the back. The lounge also has a secret door with a chute that allows the children to slide down to a subterranean ‘cave’, which forms part of a downstairs entertainment area and dance studio.

Given the space limitations on the site, Van Wyk says they accommodated what he calls the “noisy spaces”, such as the play and entertainment areas, below ground. An open atrium, however, draws natural light down into these subterranean rooms, so they are bright and airy. 

The house thus functions not simply as accommodation, but as a platform for the family’s lifestyle and aspirations, melding together the unique character and most outstanding features of the site – an appropriate climatic response and a response to the unique needs of its inhabitants, all expressed a simple, clean-lined architectural language. 

For those embarking on designing their dream home, van Wyk gives the following advice: “Think about how you ideally would like to live. How do you see yourself using the home? What’s important to you and your family in your day – from your routine on a weekday to your weekends and when you’re entertaining or just spending time as a family at home. What’s important to you in how you live your days and what brings you enjoyment. If you can articulate your ideal living experience, an experienced architect will interpret that into the spatial arrangement of your home.”

Professional team
Developer: Devmco Realty | Architect: Craft of Architecture | Structural engineers: Struxit | Electrical engineers: Liveng | Wet services engineers: Vertex | HVAC engineers: Vertex Quantity surveyors: ESTQS | Interior design: Mobius | Project management: Devmco | Contractor: Manuel Gouviea Construction

Tel: +27 (0)21 685 8881

Tel: +27 (0)87 152 0888

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