Yzerfontein in Pearl Bay, South Africa is a sculptured building with clean horizontal lines, large areas of glass and screens creating a space that is ‘open as well as private’. Pearl Bay, is one of the few remaining sea-front stretches on the West Coast to be developed. Passing through the sleepy residential area of Yzerfontein one heads back South towards Cape Town. The site is one of a prize number located immediately behind the never-ending line of dunes. The climate on the West Coast can at times be idyllic and other times extremely harsh.

To maximize the views of the sea and waves over the dunes, the Ground Floor living areas were elevated above natural ground level. The L-shaped concept of two intersecting rectangular forms allow two full glazed sides to face the view and at the same time create a sheltered courtyard overlooking a long, rectangular pool. Sculptured rectangular forms, linear elements, expansive areas of horizontal glazing, sliding timber screens and the feature fireplace are the principal elements of the design. The simple choice of materials complements the sculptural form of the house. The ceilings are off-shutter concrete with subtle wood grain patterns in the rectangular grids formed by the standard sized shutter boards. Walls are painted single coat plaster. Floors and bathroom walls are white cement screed throughout. The principal neutral elements are complemented by the natural timber shutters and screens. These will mature in time to the silver-grey colour of Balau timber. The full height internal doors and joinery are dark Walnut stained African mahogany; the cantilever staircase is rich red ‘Boire’ timber.

Each bathroom is characterised by a feature wall in a carefully selected turquoise or green mosaic to complement the jade green slate vanity tops. Natural stone ribbon-clad features include the fireplace hearth, the red sandstone barbeque ledge recess and the rock-face jade slate pool spillway waterfeature. The basement courtyard has a Balau timber deck, highlighting the transition from the internal white cement screed to the dune sand. The high-gloss lacquered kitchen in yellow with seamless snow-white moulded counter tops is an unexpected surprise, for a functional element.

Project Name: Yzerfontein

Location: Pearl Bay, Yzerfontein, South Africa

Project Area:  828 sqm

Photographs: Stefan Antoni

Architects: SAOTA