90a bellamont_umdloti | durban_south africa

Elphick Proome Architects Inc.


90a_bellamont is a unique four villa enclave set on the elevated crest of a subtropical forested dune overlooking the Indian Ocean. The enclave is an exclusive group of villas created to capitalize on the remarkable environmental quality and prospect of the site, and has become an exemplar of local residential architecture in the application of off-shutter concrete. The sloping dune presented the opportunity to create two sets of linked villas, one on the upper zone of the site and the other on a lower platform on the fringe of the forest. This sectional arrangement capitalizes on panoramic views whilst maintaining and protecting the villas outlook and privacy. Architecturally the villas exhibit a contextual response and sculptured aesthetic characterized by wide overhanging roofs, angular walls, juxtaposed terraces and extensive glazing. Off-shutter concrete was selected as the medium to achieve this expression, imparting a raw crafted construct and providing materiality with solid longevity to cope with its coastal location. Impossibly slender cantilevered roof planes stretch way beyond the buildings' envelopes and extended spans are made possible with the inverted- triangular concrete roof form. Thin edged verandas and angled blade walls frame each villa to create perceptible individual identity and promote privacy. These solutions deliver extraordinary form and breathtaking spaces within a living concrete ‘umbrella’ that capitalizes on its verdant indigenous landscape and seaside climate. The concrete shell is also reflected internally on all surfaces and this, together with polished concrete floors throughout, creates an air of simplicity and quiet sense of seclusion.

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