“De-fleshed fish bones protruding from the dunes` Our client commissioned us to create a relaxed, informal and private holiday retreat for them, their extended families and friends. A house where they could enjoy and be one with nature and the sea. The site is in Boggoms Bay: a remote Western Cape South African seaside village. It is situated on the edge of the built-up area abutting a nature reserve with its dunes covered with wind sculpted vegetation. The site allows for complete privacy and also have breath-taking views over the bay and the dunes. Although the site is small, the client’s accommodation requirements were extensive, we therefore developed the stand to its maximum and borrowed visually from the reserve to create a sense of space. The climate is Mediterranean with harsh N/W and S/E winds. In winter, the structure should allow the sun to penetrate, retain the heat and provide shelter from the winter rain, in summer the structure must protect from the sun and be allowed to breathe with large openings. These openings must be layered, glazed and shuttered to manage sun and wind. The wind is a year-round problem and the massing of the building should create sheltered, outside areas and courtyards. The design consists of a bedroom block at the back and an entertainment block on the sea side. A sheltered courtyard is created between the two blocks, partially covered, with an outside cooking area and opening up to the north for the sun. By cutting across the middle of the blocks, a series of covered and uncovered living spaces are created opening up to the sea. The main living space leads onto a covered sea facing verandah and on the other side to the courtyard verandah facing the games room, which that doubles up as boat house when the house is not occupied. The bedrooms are placed at the both ends of these blocks for privacy – kids bedrooms upstairs overlooking the courtyard. The bedrooms are primarily designed for its views with low headboard walls allowing views from the open bathroom and dressing space behind. A partially covered sun / view deck is situated on the roof with barbeque and chair storage facilities. Sloping balustrade walls and glass screens ensure privacy and wind protection. The architecture is also dictated by the frugal application of building materials and basic detailing necessary to withstand the harsh coastal conditions. Brick walls are plastered and painted with ship-lap plastered bands evoking the memory of the wooden beach shacks, the first structures along this coast line. The dune sand is reflected in the sandstone floor. The wind sculpted dune vegetation inspired the colour of the house, dark-black green inside and out, evoking a sense of tranquillity. Heat reflective glass and galvanised fish-bone beam structures protect the openings, allowing light and views of the African skies into the spaces without the heat, their moving shadows the only reminder of time when relaxing here.