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Home Beautiful|December 2021
THE PERFECT HIDEAWAY FOR A SURF-LOVING FAMILY, ‘THE ARK’ IS A WOODEN VILLA HUGGING THE SHORE, MIXING SUSTAINABILITY WITH EASY LIVING
LORI COHEN
It wasn’t Jan’s intention to build a holiday home that was sea ready when she embarked on her building project in a coastal town on South Africa’s Western Cape two years ago. But, with the dominating timber features and porthole views of the home, what started off as a brief to create a “shack made of two containers on top of each other” evolved into a space that retains a beachcomber sensibility, with a teenagers’ den, and an open-plan expanse, which is dedicated to dining and relaxing.

In her search for an architect, Jan came upon the work of Tessa van Schaik of The Planet Thing Architects. “We knew we wanted an upstairs space to harness the views and a downstairs den for the kids, but Tessa took my initial sketch and made it real,” she says.

Along with project site designer and manager Luke Brown, Tessa chose to create a concrete structure enhanced with timber. “It’s a dynamic material that gives light and movement and brings warmth to a home. I love using wood, but I’m horrified by what the building industry is doing to our forests so I tell all my clients about the sustainable options. And, recycled wood brings in life, patina and has lots of personality to it,” she says.

Local carpenter Marty Reddering was tasked with making the built-in cabinetry using a stash of beautiful Oregon pine he found at a demolition site. To minimise the build’s environmental impact, Jan and husband Mike also chose South African pine for floors and iroko for balconies. “I love the mixture of textures and colours,” says Jan

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