Umhlanga House Designed by Bloc Architects for Subtropical Climate

Umhlanga House Designed by Bloc Architects for Subtropical Climate

Project: Umhlanga House
Architects: Bloc Architects
Lead Architect: David Nelson
Location: Durban, South Africa
Area: 400.0 m2
Project Year 2017
Photography: Peter Oravecz

The Umhlanga House is an exploration into materiality, light and the integration of architecture into the landscape. Situated in an exclusive forest estate in Durban, South Africa, the forest house strives to frame the landscape with clean horizontal lines.

Umhlanga House Designed by Bloc Architects for Subtropical Climate 1

The home celebrates raw materials, which helps soften the transition between built form and the precious landscape that surrounds it. This raw materiality reinforces the honesty behind the architectural tectonics of its construction.

Umhlanga House Designed by Bloc Architects for Subtropical Climate 2

Through subtle manipulations of materials and forms we sought to alter perceptions. By chamfering brutal edges, we revealed concretes cool elegance. Concrete Frames are propped off steel columns converting heavy and cumbersome to light and agile.

Umhlanga House Designed by Bloc Architects for Subtropical Climate 3

The pool straddles inside and out, pulling ephemeral reflections of sky and clouds deep into the house. The indigenous wild grasses on the roofs blur boundaries between the landscape and architecture. Besides adding an animated aural experience, the planting offers a more pragmatic insulating layer from the outside.

Umhlanga House Designed by Bloc Architects for Subtropical Climate 4

Conceptually, the Umhlanga house consists of two rectangular boxes on ground (‘Service’ and ‘Storage’ boxes), on either side of the site. On top of this another box, the ‘Living’ box, bridges across the two lower boxes.

Umhlanga House Designed by Bloc Architects for Subtropical Climate 5

The ‘service’ box, to the West, houses the triple garage, laundry, scullery, staff apartment, gym and office. The ‘Storage’ box to the East, houses general storage and specialized equipment. Both are clad with timber screens to ensure privacy from the open plan ‘play’ area, which sits directly under the ‘Sleeping’ box.

Umhlanga House Designed by Bloc Architects for Subtropical Climate 6

These two ground floor boxes serve to provide privacy from the neighbors, and frame the prized views over the Northern landscape and distant sea views.

Umhlanga House Designed by Bloc Architects for Subtropical Climate 7

All doors and timber screens slide away seamlessly into cavities, ensuring cavernous volumes interact directly with the landscape.

Umhlanga House Designed by Bloc Architects for Subtropical Climate 8

This house was designed around the sub-tropical Durban climate and the young client’s social lifestyle.

Umhlanga House Designed by Bloc Architects for Subtropical Climate 9

Umhlanga House Designed by Bloc Architects for Subtropical Climate 10

Umhlanga House Designed by Bloc Architects for Subtropical Climate 11

Umhlanga House Designed by Bloc Architects for Subtropical Climate 12

blank

Newsletter HomeWorldDesign

To be updated with all the latest projects

Most Recent

Most Popular

Kew House – family home formed of two sculptural volumes of weathering steel

Kew House is a family home in London designed by Piercy & Company. Description by Piercy & Company: Set within the Kew Green Conservation Area of...

Itoman Gyomin Shokudo – A Restaurant Covered with Coral Limestone

The Itoman Gyomin Shokudo, located in Itoman, Okinawa was conceived with the aim of supporting and promoting the local tradition and culture through its...
Old San Francisco Horse Stable Converted into Office Space by Feldman Architecture 2

Scenic Advisement Offices by Feldman Architecture

Upon entering this dynamic space, one’s mind might not immediately jump to the quaint yet historic past embedded into the bones of this Battery St. location. In fact, if not for the humble design elements of Douglas fir beams, high ceilings, and stall like enclosures, there would be no indication of its original purpose.
Loft in Chelsea for an Art Collecting Couple with Small Children

Loft in Chelsea for an Art Collecting Couple with Small Children

New York-based architecture studio Worrell Yeung has completed the renovation and design of a 2,200-square-foot loft in Chelsea for an art-and-design-collecting couple with small children.
Ski Shores Lakehouse

Ski Shores Lakehouse by Stuart Sampley Architect

The spirit of traditional Texas dogtrot-style architecture is modernly refined in this modest weekend lake house. Ski Shores Lakehouse was designed by Austin-based Stuart Sampley...

More Articles Like This