Dunkirk Estate Site Office

Private Property South Africa
Charles Taylor
Text and photos by Mark Taylor (Charles Taylor Architects)
Contrary to the estates modern colonial theme, the design of the "Site Office" at Dunkirk Estate is appropriately different with a truly modern approach. Simple, bold openings and horizontal forms characterise it.

An angular timber bridge flanked by a stone gabion wall and wraparound reed garden, acts as the entrance, and leads one towards the building.

The internal area is comprised of two parts; the open plan foyer and reception area towards the front (comprising a separate boardroom) and a row of offices towards the back.

The interior has a distinctly modern and "clean cut" feel with an emphasis on horizontal and vertical lines, the main focus of which is towards the view. The floor-to-ceiling height finned glass panels towards the front, allows the outside to become a distinct part of the inside. A two metre long cantilevered flat roof provides essential shading from the sun.

The cellular offices toward the back are accessed off a corridor, which in turn acts as a presentation panel for relevant pictures. An angled skylight runs lengthwise along this corridor and allows for light to enter from the top. Vertical timber slats on the outside of the office areas act as a shading device.

Expressed geometric forms (squares, rectangles, circular edges, etc.) are noticeable and often repeated in the building envelope with floated edges, door and window openings taken from floor-to-ceiling and curved edges. The cantilevered roof element over the glazed frontage of the building accentuates the forms and provides an exciting interplay between the interior and exterior spaces.

Materials, texture and finishing
The building is comprised of a variety of different, but complementary materials including painted walls, floor-to-ceiling height finned glass panels, accented timber lattice elements, external hardwood floors and stone gabion walls. The interplay between these elements allows for an interesting and well articulated building.

Architect and Interior Design: OMM Design Workshop

Paint - Plascon
Pool - Pelican Pools
Waterproofing Membrane: Derbigum
Doors: Timber and Tool (Pinetown)
Decking: Natal Sundecks
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