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The beach house re-imagined on Top Billing
Top Billing tours a West Coast dream home in Yzerfontein
Designing a beach house in Yzerfontein is a specialised job. Between the sun, sea and wind, you have to master the elements like a shipbuilder, balance the luxury and practicality of a superyacht and if you want trees to grow – call in a forest ecologist.
Designer Gavin Maddock designed the home while also being very hands-on with the interior, as he likes to design from the inside out.
The striking concrete industrial look of the house was chosen to match the ruggedness of the Yzerfontein West Coast, while the use of timber and concrete also created a feel of luxury.
The owners wanted four suites and each had to have a subtly different flavour to its décor and a distinct way of enjoying the communal, tree-lined courtyard. Every suite also had to offer couple’s a personal retreat with a sense of having the ocean entirely to themselves.
Gavin ensured all the bedrooms made the most of the view, but initially the site was low lying, so the level had to be raised slightly to make the most of the view while maintaining the seamless flow of the nearby vegetation. Wisely, the owners and Gavin chose Douglas Wheatley as a contractor. His company has built a hundred homes here where the tough Yzerfontein conditions come standard.
The faded grey, greens of the interiors and the name of the house take their cue from the five ton olive tree which arborist Dag Willems managed to plant here. Along with a wind break and hedge made up of several wild camphor trees.
If Dag is proud of getting this mature tree to successfully take root, Douglas and Gavin pulled off a feat or two of their own. Upstairs, across the bridge and into the owners’ penthouse, designer and contractor have managed to make a nine and a half ton concrete wall float, allowing light in and creating a stunning feel to the room.
Out on the private sun and braai terrace, you can hear the ocean on one side and on the other, birds in the courtyard, attracted by the only trees for miles around. Added to that, you get a decent sized plunge pool just for you.
For such a strong, modern structure, this vision of concrete and olive trees blends in surprisingly well with its wild surrounds.