location: Zimbali, KZN, South Africa | architects: Metropole Architects | interior design: Ann Alderton Bespoke | photographer: Grant Pitcher

The site was a vacant green field prior to commencement of this project at Zimbali on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast, an area rich in indigenous flora that thrives in a semi-tropical climate. This location demanded careful consideration insofar as material selection for a 500-square metre two-storey build on a site of just over 1 200 square metres. The site offers exceptional panoramic sea views from the northeast through to the southeast.

The architecture of 6 Leadwood Loop was designed in accordance with Feng Shui principles: the square geometry of the floor plan being aligned with the cardinal axis. Further, the shape, position and orientation of all the spaces and bodies of water were guided by Feng Shui protocols.

Characteristics such as elemental roof forms with large eaves, an overhanging upper storey, play of light and shade, screening and spatial flow – including uninterrupted indoor / outdoor access – plus lush landscaping, are all hallmarks of tropical modern architecture.

The house is a layered composition of individually expressed horizontal elements. The off-shutter concrete and glass ground floor level is articulated from the timber-clad first floor by means of the cantilevered first floor plate, and the angled cantilevered ground floor terrace projects out over the timber and stone lower floor level. Subdivisions in the timber doors and windows reinforce the horizontal lines of the architecture. The building culminates in the bold form of the pyramid roof with a two-metre overhang, splayed timber eaves brackets and T&G eaves closer.

The rim flow swimming pool with a natural stone waterfall feature and sundeck was placed on the north side of the house, enjoying warm sunlight throughout the day, but at the same time being significantly shielded from the prevailing winds coming off the ocean. An al fresco sitting area and shallow reflective pond adjoin the east-facing terrace, providing a tranquil  area to linger and enjoy the natural splendour of the Indian Ocean.

For the full article see Habitat #262 November / December 2017


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