Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects sent us images of this cool coastal home in a picturesque place called The Cove, in Pezula Estate, Knysna. This South African paradise called for a contemporary style home that focused as much attention on the outdoors as the indoors. Inspired by its indigenous surroundings, here’s what SAOTA came up with.
Set on a cliff overlooking the waterfront, this house was made with its surroundings in mind – maximizing views, and complementing the site’s spectacular natural traits. The home’s low-profile silhouette organically follows the lay of the land.
Peeking up over the grass-covered countryside, the house features an earthy material palette which includes heavy stone walls to ground the home, and cantilevered timber decks that give the architecture a light, airy feel.
From a distance, the perfect green golf course and the deep blue sea is certainly an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise!
On closer inspection, the house itself is also an ode to the outdoors, featuring warm, raw materials that combine to create an earthy, intriguing abode. As you walk up the path to the main entrance, a long stone slab leads the eye and lures your feet.
From the exterior, the stone walls and blue skies make their way indoors via the stone foyer walls and a skylight overhead. Exposed beams cast long shadows on the floors and turn the ceiling into an illuminated focal point. How’s that for natural lighting?!
On entry, the foyer features smooth concrete walls and floating concrete stairs have a contemporary look and feel, all awash in neutral tones, with gleaming marble underfoot and the sun streaming in overhead.
At the far end of the entry, a dark, rich, knotty wood wall softens the cool, contemporary look while tying interiors to the timber terraces.
The sheltered open-air terraces feature wood ceilings and floors, trasforming the outdoors into an extension of the home. These true alfresco living rooms are complete with minimalist furnishings that mirror the home’s clean but warm interiors, which are visible through floor-to-ceiling windows at every turn.
These light-filled outside rooms have a relaxed resort feel about them – perfect for a home meant as an indoor-outdoor summer retreat. A long pool cuts through the center of this interior courtyard, which is flanked by the home’s two separate volumes.
As you look out across the pool, your eye naturally flows out to the unobstructed sea.
But you don’t have to be outside to enjoy the sea. The home’s simple linear layout allows nature views from virtually every room. Expansive glazing frames these soothing scenes with its barely-there borders.
By night, the home glows from within. Warm interior lighting has a fiery smoldering effect that contrasts the cool blue lighting of the pool.
Early mornings and endless evenings – time here is no doubt spent out in the open, by the pool, playing a game of golf, or regarding the infinite sea in quiet contemplation.
Indeed, this simple yet complex home has more to it than meets the eye, boasting a beautiful balance of nature and man-made modern elements, indoors and out, private and public spaces that make this a sweet retreat.
“The key to this retreat is its simplicity in terms of the relationship between spaces. Its floor plan is structured, sparse and uncluttered,” according to SAOTA. Check out these floor plans: