Silver Bay by SAOTA is located in Shelley Point on the west coast of South Africa, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean as well as the mountains behind the small town of Aurora. The brief for the project was to: “Create a holiday home for a young family that could be enjoyed by an extended circle of friends and family. The house needed to create an internal environment that maximized the connection with the view, minimized views on neighboring buildings and created sunny wind free outdoor living spaces,” says Greg Truen, Project Partner.
The architects staggered the open plan social zone back from a privacy wall that contains a storage room off of the garage. They created a floor plan that positions the dining, living and pool areas to take advantage of the views on the upper level and the master suite to do the same on the lower level. There is also a louvered wood slat wind screen that run the length of the pool to keep the ocean winds at bay.
Shelley Point is on the Northern tip of a peninsula and is a small piece of land that juts into the Atlantic with West, North and East facing beaches. St. Helena Bay is made up of several smaller bays and Silver Bay faces into one of these smaller water formations. With Heaviside dolphins, Southern Right whales and migratory birds frequenting the waterway, it is no wonder the clients requested the views to be of the utmost importance.
The site slopes 3000m from the street to the beach, exposing the home to strong seasonal winds. To create a home that maximized the views while staying protected from the elements was a challenge that SAOTA overcame with careful planning in the design and material choices.
From the moment the front door is opened the views are ever-present.
The entry is located at the end of the open plan social zone, positioned on a wall that does not contain views. Featuring concrete floors, exposed ceilings and walls of sliding/stacking glazings, the home barely differentiates between the indoor living spaces and the outdoor poolside terrace.
Upon entering the home you step down two stairs before arriving at the kitchen and dining areas on the right and the pool terrace on the left. While the pool and views are the number one attention getter, the stunning pendant lights over the dining table, while secondary, are pretty awesome. The choice of the suspended cage design allows the lights to work with patterns created by the exposed timbers on the ceiling.
From the pool terrace, the thatched roof takes on a soft and comfortable aesthetic that plays beautifully off of the curved Corten “hat” over the Braai Flue. The roof is supported on a perimeter I-beam with steel tie rods spanning the widths, allowing the interior zone to be one complete open space. The woven grass that is used to create the thatched roof is the perfect counterbalance to the granite floors below, creating both a soft/hard and warm/cold surround.
Made from Corten Steel, the flu over the firepit is a stunning sculptural statement that marks the end of the pool terrace like an exclamation point. From this point on, a living room a few steps down becomes the place to be – with its comfortable furnishings and spectacular views.
The majority of the furniture is from OKHA Initeriors and the Interior Design is by Antoni Associates. Mark Rielly of Antoni Associates says: “The interior is a sophisticated eclectic mix of easy living, laid-back, comfortable and robust furniture. Natural timber, charcoal and grey fabrics are accented with washed-out red patchwork kelims, and blue log stools. Natural materials and textures such as pewter-colored grass cloth wall coverings and woven baskets add tactile finishes that layer the spaces. Proportions are over-scaled and inviting. Large sofas are nested with clusters of cushions and throws and instantly reflect relaxation. Spaces are cocooned and layered and have a sense of home.”
The stairwell is made from I-beams and has solid Eucalyptus timber treads that are 75mm thick. Downstairs, off-shutter concrete slabs are featured on the ceiling – complete with rusty markings from the steel that was laid in the slab and the chalk markings of the contractor. This patina gives the home a sense of story and history that is continued by the choice of artwork on the gallery wall.
Aside from the family room, laundry room and washroom, there are four bedrooms downstairs – each with their own ensuite. Each bedroom has corner glazings to maximize views. Curtain tracks that were cast into the ceiling slabs with curved corners allow the draperies to close in one continues path.
The bedrooms are separated from their ensuites by glass walls, allowing the views to permeate both zones – unless, of course, the curtains are closed.