location: Salt Rock, Dolphin Coast, KZN | architects: Metropole Architects  | design architect: Nigel Tarboton | interior design: Olàlà! Interiors | project architect: David Louis |  Décor & Fit: Olàlà! Interiors | photography: Grant Pitcher

Metropole Architects’ Salt Rock House is a 530 square metre, modern three bedroom home situated on KwaZulu-Natal’s North Coast of South Africa. It’s a bold, contemporary architectural design set into the picturesque coastal suburbia that is the Dolphin Coast. It was completed in 2016.

The area celebrates a year-round warm coastal climate, local indigenous flora and fauna, and 180 degree panoramic sea views that can include a glimpse of Humpback and Southern Right whales. The huge mammals migrate along the coastline of KwaZulu-Natal from their southern feeding grounds to their breeding area off the coast of Mozambique.

Salt Rock House represents an uninhibited architectural expression free from the restrictive stylistic design guidelines typically found in the numerous gated housing estates located in the area. The structure stands on a steep site and is a progressive cantilever form arranged over three cascading levels to proclaim a definitive presence, pioneering a paradigm shift in the architectural design language of its context.

The road / public façade is intentionally low slung, minimalist and austere and hard up against the western site boundary resulting in an architecture that visually engages with the street. A linear plan form stretching across the entire width of the site is set back from the street by the width of a double garage structure. This allows for maximum open and sheltered private space used for the purpose of living, entertainment, relaxation and enjoyment of the ocean views.

The relatively solid and planar western façade also provides effective privacy to the inhabitants, whilst at the same time acting as an efficient barrier to bad weather and prevailing strong winds emanating from the southwest.

The architecture aims to impress right from the start. The entrance is a carefully considered, striking, one and a half volume arrangement of components in full height glass, timber and painted plasterwork. The strong horizontal line of the roof over the recessed entrance area, together with the vertical lines of the flanking walls, creates a framed view through the house to the ocean beyond.

For the full article see Habitat #257 January / February 2017