Benguela Cove, Hermanus
Courtyard House is a family holiday home at the water's edge of the Botriver Lagoon in the Benguela Cove Coastal Estate. The essence of this project is in its spectacular natural setting and this, along with the desired use, were the key design considerations.
The house responds to its natural environment – including the views, topography and climate. Nestled into the landscape as it slopes towards the shoreline, the house is organised around a series of courtyards which create shelter from the prevailing winds while retaining a strong connection to the outdoors. The spaces are positioned to have uninterrupted views across the lagoon to the Kogelberg Mountains and framed views to the estate’s vineyards, olive trees and lavender fields. The contemporary glass and concrete aesthetic contrasts and complements the indigenous fynbos and is softened by timber shutters and pergolas which give passive sun control.
The central courtyard was envisaged as the ‘heart of the house’ and the double volume living area and wine bar open onto this space to create an extended entertainment area. The guest barn is removed from the more public areas to create privacy while still being linked to the main house.
Prior to this architectural project, Urban Concepts was involved in the conceptualisation of the Benguela Cove Coastal Estate at a masterplan level. This included spatial planning; assisting with environmental and planning application processes; concept design and co-ordination of infrastructure; and urban design and architectural guidelines for the estate.
On returning to the site years later, the beauty of the matured fynbos and the way in which this complements the buildings was striking. The landscape architect’s understanding of the vision for the spaces and courtyards is evident. The tree in the central courtyard has grown and is now the home of birds, giving a strong sense of the home’s immersion in its natural environment.
Siobain and Mike Prew
Benguela Cove, Hermanus, Western Cape
Completed in 2010
Urban Concepts - architecture and urban design
de Villiers & Hulme - structural engineering
HBDB - quantity surveying
Mary Maurel Gardens - landscape architecture
Drawings and graphics by Urban Concepts
Completed project photographs by Norval Louw and Urban Concepts