Skip to Content

BeachyHead by SAOTA

The house's outdoor view from the pool area, boasting its infinity pool and beautiful modern architecture style. Photo Credit: Adam Letch

Beachyhead, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa

Hovering over the dune and a stone throw from Robberg Beach in Plettenberg Bay, the design was conceived as a simple box which captures and frames the ocean view. The outer shell of the box is finished in a rough natural texture that references back to the dune, contrasting with the smooth reveal and soffit that tapers to create a delicate frame.

From the road, the scale of the house is modest, with living spaces concealed on a lower level. Strong horizontality is articulated in the entrance canopy, which is planted with indigenous shrubs cascading over the slab edge.

Taking advantage of the remarkable views – with Robberg peninsula to the south-east and the Outeniqua Mountains in the distance towards the north – the southern section of the house is higher and appears to be sliced off from the northern part in a sculptural way. This opening extends vertically through the building, washing northern light into the deeper spaces of the house. Lit from a skylight above, the stairs are delicately suspended in this void, also allowing views through it.

The geometry of the staircase continues as a diagonal line that extends the cantilevering entertainment terrace. The centrally-positioned kitchen serves the living spaces and northern courtyard. The kitchen volume opens upwards to the bedroom gallery, allowing northern light into the space.

Located on the lower terrace, the pool connects to the main entertainment spaces by means of a stone staircase, articulated as part of the plinth. With a water level that is slightly raised above the deck surface; a rim flow all round creates the impression that this reflective water body slots into the timber deck. This further creates unity between this refined, easy-flowing home and its natural surroundings.

Photo Credit: Adam Letch

Designed by: SAOTA

Technical Info

  • Project name: Beachyhead
  • Project Location: Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
  • Architects: SAOTA
  • Project Architects: Phillippe Fouché & Mias Claassens
  • Interiors: Cécile & Boyd
  • Project Photographer: Adam Letch


SAOTA, a leading firm of architects is driven by the dynamic combination of Stefan Antoni, Philip Olmesdahl, Greg Truen, Phillippe Fouché and Mark Bullivant who share a potent vision easily distinguished in their design.

This, paired with both an innovative and dedicated approach to the design, documentation and execution of projects globally, has seen SAOTA become an internationally sought-after brand.

Capitalising on a unique understanding of an ever-evolving industry, SAOTA continues to build on past experiences and is well positioned to offer expert services to the corporate, institutional, commercial and residential marketplace. With strong roots in South Africa, 85 % of SAOTA’s clientele is now international with projects in 86 countries.

This success is driven by a design philosophy that connects function and form, and the pursuit of true architectural design to create appropriate solutions. The focus on achieving maximum value has also led to global invitations to design, build and create highly prestigious projects.

The philosophy of practice is embodied in the spirit of enquiry that flourishes amongst its staff. This spirit not only guides the firm, but enables it to maintain its position as definitive designers in a highly competitive and fast-changing industry. Increased exposure to the global marketplace has seen SAOTA flourish as cities and contexts allow for infinite inspiration which can be seen radiating from the approach to design.

SAOTA is also focused on using the most current computer technology in its design process, both to understand the design and to communicate the design to our clients. To this end we are world leaders in the use of Revit and have also developed virtual reality tools for use in our process.

We strive to promote a service marked by excellence both in our buildings and in addressing the needs of our clients, with the focus on high standards & elegance…