An Inviting South African Cottage Embraces its Seaside Locale
The serene, seaside village of Kommetjie, south of Cape Town, South Africa, provides an idyllic coastal setting for an indoor/outdoor home. Accordingly, Cape Town–based architecture studio SALT Architects allowed the settings to inspire the design of 5 Fin Whale Way, steering towards a form that connects interior spaces to the outside environment with a pitched roof and dormers.
The home is a mix of Cape Cottage architecture—which is rooted in the European medieval "longhouse"—and Victorian architecture, which was influenced by the materials available when settlers started arriving to the area from Europe.
Clad in timber and exuding warmth, the home is traditional in its use of materials, but contemporary in the execution of details. Vertical wood siding wraps the upper floors. Two deep stone walls conceal the sliding door tracks and concrete columns on the main floor. One, extending inward, provides a textured backdrop to the floating stair. Large stainless-steel plate framed windows, modified versions of dormer windows, increase the ceiling of the height-restricted volume. A cantilevered wood- and-steel canopy, inspired by the traditional porch of a Victorian beach cottage, provides shade during warm summer days, while allowing winter sun to warm the interior living spaces.
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An open, continuous space on the main floor holds the living room, dining room, and kitchen. Each of the spaces is made exceptional through its unique spatial scale, abundance of natural light, and direct relationship to the outdoor environment. The living area connects to a wrap-around outdoor deck, complete with a swimming pool, along the public facade of the house. The dining room extends onto a smaller outdoor patio, kept private from surrounding homes via tall walls. A fire pit provides the ideal location to gather with family and friends in an intimate surrounding. The kitchen is connected to a thin piece of outdoor space, blurring the boundary between out and in.
In all spaces of this three-bedroom, contemporary cottage, the outdoor environment is one with the interiors, resulting in a beautiful composition of nature, material, and form.
Architect of Record: SALT Architects LTD
Builder / General Contractor: Lovejoy Building
Structural Engineer: BJB Structural & Civil Engineers
Cabinetry Design / Installation: Prowell Kitchens
Other Company / Contact: KVS Stainless Steel
Photography: Dearheart Photos