Cove 6

Posted on Thu, 19 Jun 2014 by midcenturyjo

Perched on the cliff edges in Knysna, South Africa is a home of stone and timber. Tactile, rugged yet luxurious, perfectly oriented to the views and oh the views.  Magnificent site matched by magnificent home. Cove 6 by SAOTA – Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects.

Monnaie says:

Love the architects designs!

deon marais says:

such a pity that desire to inspire think that this is of any importance whatsoever. this architect of monstrosities should not feature in your blog. we in south africa have many more eco concious designers and yet you never seem to feature them. i for one am not into these huge ugly buildings that every rich person erects along our very special coastline. the coastline is now marred with just another very forgettable piece of concrete. sorry but i will not be visiting your blog again.

superdutch says:

Round Knysna in South Africa – where this house stands – very ecologically sensitive, pristine nature areas right on the coast were bulldozed to create golf estates. This house is on one of those and most houses are built by the likes of SAOTA. The architect, Stefan Antoni, has become a bit of a celebrity architect (himself and designing for the celebrity crowd) and only builds multi-million dollar houses up and down the coast, the one more bling than the other. Compared to most houses he designs – a kind of international super-bland bling blah chic, sorry I cannot be more kind – this one is actually quite toned down, but ultimately they all look exactly alike, the materials just being more or less expensive and the sizes differing.

The developers of these coastal golf estates all claim that they are inserted into the areas with great precision not to disturb the rare plants, are eco-friendly and green, etc., etc. But ultimately they are quite toxic for the environment as they require huge amounts of water (in a water-scarce country) and vast amounts of chemicals to establish and maintain the golfing greens. Those chemicals then enter the ground water and easily destroy the rare fynbos (an indigenous plant group that thrives in harsh environments and perish when nutrients used in regular gardening and agriculture are introduced, as they are done en masse on the golf estates). Most of these golf courses consist of vast houses that are owned by the extremely wealthy and are empty for the majority of the year – up to 50 weeks a year on many of the estates are quite normal. Their presence brings zero or very little work opportunity to the poor local communities, other than when the houses are built, but even then entire construction teams from the big cities are often brought in and no skill transfer takes place to the local poor and under-trained communities.

The house is not the worst I have seen in regard to its environment but it regrettably is iconic for the destruction that the costal environment in South Africa is experiencing – both in terms of the eco-destruction it brings and the architecture that in itself is about little other than a bling architect using his cookie-cutter bling style. I have to agree with the previous poster in his assessment of this uninteresting and ultimately forgettable house. This house could be anywhere in the world and is just another compilation of elements that have come to define this style.

Herta says:

Not my style of home at all, it has no soul, the best part is the position/view which of course would still be there with a more modest home. In reference to deon Marais and superdutch's comments obviously this is a design blog but I do agree with your views on the negative effects to the environment in the building of such structures. Just because you can (have the$$$) doesn't mean you should. Thank you for the insights, I'm in Australia and also would prefer a greater respect for the environment in what we do.

Comeau says:

Beautiful home! Some of the other comments regarding the "destruction of the coastline" and whatnot have no place here. Complain about that to the owner of the house, the developer of the golf estate or the authorities who approved the development if you have an issue. SAOTA have done a wonderful job of designing a home that someone else would have designed if they were not commissioned to. Who knows what actual monstrosity might have been built in its place. If you have an issue with the architecture of the house, then by all means, but leave your comments where they're due. Especially in light of the fact that I'd be willing to wager that any one of my fellow commenters would jump at the opportunity to build a house in exactly the same spot if they could afford it.

superdutch says:

I do apologize, Comeau, I did not know only praise (and whatnot, whatever, that may be) can be heaped on a project on this site.

If you read comments frequently on this site, you will come to realize very quickly that there is a multitude of opinions and voices here, sometimes in agreement on whether something is found beautiful, but often not. And that is great, as otherwise there will be just be one stylist, one designer and one photographer represented on this site, as there would just be one idea of what constitutes beauty. Instead, every reader and every poster brings her/his own notions of beauty and taste.

So by all means, when one day you do or do not like a design or a house or "whatnot", by all means voice an opinion! Wait, you just did voice one, by indicating you found this a job well done! And good on you for saying so, but do not deny others their opinions just because those do not conform to yours.

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