Under the leafy canopy of an immense Albizia tree stands the Aloe Ridge House, a contemporary home in the Eden Rock Estate on Kwa Zulu Natal’s South Coast of South Africa. Designed by Metropole Architects, the home makes a bold architectural statement that dream houses need not be colossal to be brilliant.
The public facade is proudly minimalist and hard against the Southwestern building line. The visually engaging architecture makes efficient use of the small site, providing effective privacy while acting as an efficient bulwark against bad weather and strong prevailing winds. The entrance is a carefully considered grand arrangement of components in glass, timber, and concrete, with ‘wraparound’ form, a signature characteristic of recent Metropole designs.
An open plan design with a minimum of dividing walls, no internal doors, and level thresholds between indoors and outdoors allows the home to facilitate the visual experience of a singular multi-use space. The interior is, uncluttered and weather permitting, able to open up and connect to the great outdoors. Upper perimeter strip windows visually lighten the experience of the overhead mass and casts natural light into the living, dining, and entertainment areas at ground level.
The home extends onto a large patio deck, with plunge pool and open lawn space, encouraging the indulgence of outdoor entertainment and relaxation.
The upper level fully open floor plan allows for a diverse set of activities in one relatively compact area. Individual, privacy granting rooms with doors are found throughout as well, allowing for more continuity of space when left open. The 3 bedrooms located at this level open onto an elevated balcony, allowing expansive views over the treetops to the sea in the East, and distant hills and the setting sun to the West. A series of movable Balau timber screens filter daylight into the modernist interiors, leaving room for privacy as well.
The clean, hard, and straight lines of this home meet the soft flowing irregular textures of the natural surrounding bush in unique harmony. The extensive use of glass breaks down the traditional visual barriers between inside and out, while the palette of natural materials, including earth tones, timber screens, and stone cladding, juxtapose with the bold and progressive architectural form. This relatively “small” home packs a visually exciting punch.
Wrap-around balcony features movable timber screens, allowing for a combination of filtered sunlight and privacy for the bedroom spaces, which all feature floor to ceiling exterior glass.
Horizontal line across top of garage mimics the general shape of the home as seen from the front. The home is designed to appear closed off to the streets.
Lower view of the front facade from street level, with stone support wall and boulder filled front garden in view.
Corner angle highlighting the contrast between the closed, minimalist front of the home and the open, sunlit back.
Side view reveals the C-shape of the structure, holding the glass-paneled rooms in protection from the elements.
A more pulled back streetside view, granting a full picture of the estate, with privacy wall and robust garden sheltering the residence.
Living room features bold coloring, with blue wall holding lengthy mounted natural wood shelving, plus C-shaped sectional between pair of zebra skin rugs on white flooring. Upper level horizontal windows on front are seen.
Side view of the open plan living room, reveals kitchen space in background, plus glass sliding panels to back yard fully open, for seamless indoor-outdoor transition.
Kitchen features white marble countertops and island, with full range and dining space built in. Glass shelving flanks the horizontal window in background.
View from the kitchen looking toward the open backyard space, showcasing how completely open the home can become with glass panels fully retracted. Glass dining table is seen at right.
View down the length of the marble topped island, giving perspective to the wide open floor plan of the lower level.
Bathroom offers fresh palette of forest green walls, with dark toned bathtub and vanity featuring vessel sink.
This bathroom continues the forest green motif, housing a pedestal tub and “floating’ white vanity next to seamless glass shower.
This study features unique sawhorse-design desk and white sofa, with private balcony space sheltered by sliding timber panels.
External view of rear of home, highlighting the expansive dark wood patio, plus sliding timber privacy panels on upper level balcony.
The back yard features lush garden design, with artfully placed stones and greenery complementing the nature focused home.
The garage, as seen at twilight. Warm under-eave lighting brightens every facade of the home, highlighting the natural wood paneling and garage door.
Nighttime view from street level shows striking illumination on the stone wall and home exterior.
Here’s another low angled view of the home at night. Surrounding palms and stone wall insulate the structure from surroundings.
Distant view of the entire property, wrapped in red brick road.
Side entrance features multiple expanses of natural wood paneling sandwiched between layers of concrete and black metal framing. Open design means we can see through to opposite end of the home.
Head on view of the rear facade. Hardwood patio extends outward to frame pool on right, while both levels are completely open to the outdoors with sliding floor to ceiling glass.
Upper level corner bedroom is wrapped in floor to ceiling glass, affording expansive views of the surrounding countryside. Timber privacy panels are pushed to the right, while fully blocking window shades are rolled up.
Here’s the study during sunset: dappled slits of light through the timber panels grant moody lighting.
Lower level dining room features immense single-panel glass table with black and dark brown wood seating, next to opened wall, blurring line between indoor and outdoor setting.
View over the patio-seated pool showcasing dark natural hardwood flooring extending length of the house, with multiple seating sets spread out.
View of the home with sliding timber panels mostly shut, granting shade and privacy to upper level bedrooms.
Similar to a previous shot highlighting the sliding timber panels, but in the daytime, we see how sunlight filters throughout the interior seamlessly.
Length of the hardwood upper balcony dappled with slits of sunlight, filtering through the floor to ceiling windows into the bedrooms at right.
One of the circular, wicker-based patio seats standing next to the fully open living room space on dark stained hardwood flooring.
Main staircase in black steel and hardwood panels, allows light passing straight through for unobtrusive, elegant presence.
Interior glowing at dusk, with soft warm lighting extending to patio overhang.
Corner view of the home at dusk, showcasing both of the rounded patio furniture pieces. Right example features built-in umbrella.
As seen on left, garage structure extends rearward, creating one of the surrounding walls.
Front facade at night. Interior lighting glows through timber shades mirroring the sliding panels on the rear balcony.
Over the patio seated pool, we see the surrounding garden lit from beneath, surrounding the yard.
Striking view of the backyard from the upper level all-wood balcony.
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