• La Lucia House / SAOTA

Architects: SAOTA  
Location: Durban,  South Africa
Project Team: Philip Olmesdahl, Patrick Ferguson & Stefan Antoni , Mark Rielly & Staci Kinnes,
Interior Décor: ARRCC
Project Year: 2010
Photographer: Karl Beath
Website: www.saota.com

LA Lucia is a dream transformer house. The view from the street is a closed in house with a veiled approach to it that is both secretive and introverted. A certain sagacity of arrival is created by a serious entrance between two milk-wood trees; the cinematic panorama is only revealed as one enters the double-volume hallway. To highlight that moment of connection, the architects clad the ceilings with precisely aligned timber slats.

La Lucia House / SAOTA

The project provides for a very strong balance between a blasé feel and a terse pithy solemnity amidst its deceptively simple but poetically realized spatial planes that do well to transcend the entire project and brazenly float amidst the landscape overlooking the sea.

La Lucia House / SAOTA

Project Partner, Philip Olmesdahl states that the buildings strong dialect with the landscape has resulted from “the owners wanting the end result to inspire that relaxed beach house spirit epitomized by wet trunks on the sofa in a somewhat tempestuous North Coast” something that complements the sensitivity towards material use (man-made and natural complexity into a remarkable asset of its own)

La Lucia House / SAOTA

From the Architects:
The footprint is simple. Upstairs are the bedrooms, four of which (including the master suite with private terrace) enjoy direct ocean views and open onto a balcony that runs the length of the structure. The ground level is one continuous space that extends onto the timber pool deck. Here, a series of living areas takes in a terrace lounge and laid-back dining area, kitchen, a formal dining area and formal lounge.

La Lucia House / SAOTA

While the mood is not unlike that of a loft, each section is clearly defined, achieved by the placement of columns as well as furnishing that, though visually congruous, subtly declare their raison d'être through form and materials. The flexibility of this space allows the owners, their children and guests options of mingling at close quarters or enjoying solitary activities but in a shared and sociable environment.

La Lucia House / SAOTA

In choosing the finishes and palette, the principle of barefoot luxury was the touchstone for both the architects and Mark Rielly and Ashleigh Gilmour of Antoni Associates – the firm's interior-design division. There is the sand- coloured polished concrete floor, timber that echoes milk wood trees and bleached driftwood, natural stone accents, leather and grey linens, all anchored by soft neutrals and pepped up with charcoal, teal and azure. Furniture is generous and adornment understated.

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