location: Zimbali Coastal Estate, KZN | property developer: Extra Dimensions Property Group | interior design: Extra Dimensions Property Group | interior décor: Olàlà! Interiors | photography: Grant Pitcher

This recently completed build at the Zimbali Coastal Estate in KwaZulu-Natal is set on a site of approximately 1 800 square metres of dense forest; the built structure totalling 500 square metres.

Says the architects: ‘We approached the surrounding natural forest with great caution prior to the construction phase. Our plan from the outset was to use large glass openings, slot windows and slab cantilevers, which project out right into the forest. Many elements of the home were specifically designed to accommodate specific large trees that became focal points, which integrated and pushed through slab elements – even touching parts of the exterior.

‘There were no major problems in achieving this other than being alert to the fact that none of the trees were taking strain during the construction process.’

So today this house sits comfortably on a virtually untouched piece of land that accommodates a plethora of old and spectacular indigenous trees. It’s a forested terrain in which a variety of flora and fauna has thrived over many centuries.

The architects add: ‘Happily, the owner of the property enjoys nature passionately and he insisted on preserving as much of the forest as possible, going even as far as to select a number of trees that could be incorporated into the design of the house. To achieve a sympathetic overall indigenous signature, crisp clean elements, view opportunities and roof gardens were included together with generous expanses of glass to frame the natural surroundings.’

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