Hermanus 1

One of our earliest commissions remains one of our favourites.
This modest 260sq.m beach house is situated in Voelkilip near Hermanus on the South-East coast of the Western Cape. It was built close to the reserve edge, overlooking Grotto Bay amongst dense, indigenous vegetation called ‘Piet se Bos’, a fynbos common to the area.
With only a gentle slope down towards the sea and thick low foliage in front, it was necessary to raise the main deck of the house just high enough to see the sea.
This enabled the garage to be concealed below the main house creating a solid ‘base’ on the ground, allowing the light timber clad box form of the main house to float above the ground plane. This contrast between the solid base and the light box frame is what gives this house its unique character.
The stone clad base contains the ancilliary spaces such as the double garage, formal entrance and ‘mud’ room in which the ‘outside’ is washed off your feet before going upstairs to the main living areas.
The upper level, built in lightweight timber-frame construction, encourages the barefoot informality normally associated with beach house living through simple yet functional furnishings and materials. On this level the house is inward looking into 2 green courtyards. This not only allowed for private outside spaces, but it allowed the windows to look on to a green space rather than the boundary walls of the neighbours properties.
Here are all the living, dining and sleeping spaces and opens and closes with sliding doors and screens allowing views and privacy as needed.
Timber, stone, pigmented screeds and simple plaster and paint blend seamlessly together in a tonal pallette that is both neutral and visually calming. Externally, the golden hues of the Larch timber cladding will weather over time, fading to a silver grey perfectly in harmony with the local green-grey landscape.
Peerutin Architects also did the interiors of the house, as there was a seamless flow between the architecture and the interiors. The clients wanted most of the furniture to be built in. Therefore the materials used were beech timber and materials in a range of blues and greys to bring in some of the beach colours, but at the same time was kept plain and neutral and in keeping with the language of the architecture.