Architect Review – Colonial Beach House

Private Property South Africa
Charles Taylor

Often the expression of a historically significant style is misappropriated

when expressed in the modern day context. In this instance, however, a sensitive

expression, with a distinctly modern and clean-cut flavour of the old Natal

colonial house was used.


The house is arranged around a central "entrance" courtyard, which leads one

into the heart of the house. The wrap-around verandah is strongly expressed in

the external elevation and forms an integral part of the concept. The living

quarters are boldly expressed in an elongated and open-plan dining, lounge and

kitchen area, the trusses linking these spaces in a very appropriate and

sensitive manner. There are three bedrooms on the ground floor level while the

lower ground level comprises a "relaxation room" as well as a studio area. Above

the garage there is an office space a "work-from-home" lifestyle of the husband.

The main character of the house lies in its crisp lines and uncluttered nature.

In keeping with the colonial nature of the house, elongated, smaller door

openings of the same scale and size were used as fenestration leading onto the

verandah. These openings frame the view and protect one from the early morning

glare of the sun off the sea.

*Forms *

Rectilinear forms characterise the house, with simple roof structures and small

eave overhangs. The rectilinear nature of the house is further expressed by the

wrap-around verandah.

*Materials, Textures and Finishing *

The finer details of the house enhance its character. Polished, tinted

granolithic floors add to the simplistic nature of the house, while scissor

trusses in the main living area ad a sense of romance and flare. The balustrade

detail is simple in nature and includes a rectangular timber handrail and

stainless steel cables. Cobbled stones provide a useful textured covering for

the drainage system of the verandah on the courtyard side. This also compliments

the junction between the grassed area and the granolithic floors. A detail which

is often seen as a "latch-on" element to the interior of houses is the use of

security doors. By using an architrave and a recessed floor track, however,

trelli-doors are incorporated in a very clever way and are seen as integrated

parts of the whole design.

*Suppliers *

Everite - Roof Sheeting

Sally Adams - Architect

Margie Howard - Interior Designer

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