Along the South African coastline outside the town of Knysna, architecture office SAOTA in collaboration with Antoni Associates designed the ‘Cove 3′ house. The primary idea driving the design was to create a single living space with a single roof element floating over it in response to the slope of the site. The roof is set at a sufficiently high level so that it is out of one’s line of sight from the living space, creating the illusion that one is sitting in the landscape rather than in a room looking out into a landscape. A large triangular cut-out in the roof reinforces a connection with the sky.


The building is orientated towards the view; one enters at the upper level of the double volume looking towards the ocean. The contrast with the external approach is very powerful. A grand stair pulls on onto the living level which holds the kitchen, dining room and living room. To the right the landscaping is pulled into the building, blurring the distinction between the inside and the outside.


A spiral stair connects the living level to a private lounge and the master bedroom on a mezzanine level. This stair was conceived as a sculptural element in the large volume to again mitigate the scale of this space. This spiral drops through the floor to a lower level which houses a guest bedroom, a home theatre and a living room.

An L-shaped extension to the South West houses the two children’s bedrooms. The bedrooms have curved curtain tracks that create very intimate sleeping spaces at night which contrast with the very open daytime character.

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all images © SAOTA, JOHN DEVONPORT & MICKY HOYLE courtesy of VISI