Lagoon House

Location: Langebaan, Western Cape.
Status: Completed 2019
Press: Visi Magazine 2019
Awards: 2019 Cifa Award for Architecture. 

Lagoon House

Lagoon House

Lagoon house is situated on a steep, South-West-facing slope overlooking the Langebaan lagoon. A magnificent rocky outcrop directly in front of the site became an important consideration in the placement of the building. Amongst other constraints, design guidelines required at least one 45° pitched roof, square windows and white walls.

We decided to keep the internal spaces compact and introduce generous North-West-facing outdoor terraces on both levels, which due to their orientation and depth are sheltered from the South Easter wind. The upper level combines kitchen, dining and living rooms into one simple archetypal house that ends in a giant picture window. The private wing is tucked underneath with a small family lounge connecting four bedrooms, of which three enjoy a sea view.

We used the “thickened wall” to express the pure geometry of the main space and contain all the bookshelves, kitchen counters, storage cupboards, desks and built-in seating. This dramatically simplifies the interiors and creates tranquility.

With reference to the vernacular buildings of the Cape, the white walls are contrasted with rustic natural materials to add warmth. The large glazed openings always bring the mood of the ocean right into the house. An elongated skylight washes the wall above the staircase with light and illuminates the depths of the lower level. Rainwater and grey water is collected in two 4000-litre underground water storage tanks via hidden downpipes. The water is filtered and aerated and is used to irrigate the garden.

Location: Langebaan, Western Cape
Design Team: Bettina Woodward, Nikki Onderstall & Shannon Tribe
Photographs: Jeremy Woodward

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