Umdloti House 2 by Bloc Architects Blends Modernist Design with a Raw Material Palette

Project Title
Umdloti House 2
Location
Umdloti, Durban, South Africa
Area
650 sqm
Architects
Bloc Architects
Engineers
Escongweni BPH Engineers
Landscape
Land Art Studio
Consultants
Stefcon Projects, Moos Interior Architects
Photography
Chris Allan
Last updated:

Set high up on one of the last remaining greenfield sites in the idyllic seaside village of Umdloti, with sweeping 180 degree views up and down the coast, this contemporary beach-side home is designed to be an entertainer’s dream.

The 650sqm, 3 bedroom home designed by Bloc architects, features expansive open plan living areas at ground level, all parallel to the coastline setting up perfect picture frame views of the seaside from every room in the house.

Due to the tight constraints of the site as well as the steep incline, the house was designed over three levels including the basement, set back into the slope. At entrance level, the kitchen and lounge are orientated along the sea view, flanking the sea-facing deck and linear infinity pool. To the rear, the architects incorporated a separate lounge with entertainment island and bar, which is protected for windy days, and has an automated retractable roof. Slide-Fold doors to the end of this space open up to a heavily planted courtyard.

The upper floor houses a master bedroom running the full depth of the plan on the northern side, separated from the other 2 ensuite bedrooms by a large family living area or pyjama lounge. On basement level, the house has a domestic workers suite, a full gym, sauna and rainwater harvesting tanks as well as other mechanical plant yards and services.

The materiality of the home comprises of concrete, timber and natural stonework, which helps soften the transition between built form and the lush tropical dune vegetation of the site. The house is striking in its minimalist language of strong crisp horizontal planes, with dark recessed vertical planes of alternating glass and timber cladding. The house sits on a rusticated stone base podium, integrating itself into the surrounding landscaping. This raw materiality reinforces the honesty behind the architectural tectonics of the home’s construction and form.