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PE estate's architecture designed to communicate with nature

Architectural designs that communicate with nature epitomise the homes dotted around the Sardinia Bay Golf & Wildlife Estate in Port Elizabeth.

In fact, says Design Review Committee member Thea Bierschenk of Erik Voigt Architects, the estate's architectural guidelines encourage buildings with outdoor living spaces to take advantage of the best of the coastal climate.

"The estate offers recreational activities such as golf, tennis and swimming among a setting of indigenous fauna and flora and our hope is that residents will embrace that lifestyle, participate, and create a sense of community.

"The estate's setting puts you in touch with nature and therefore one of the primary objectives of the architecture is to draw you out," she says.

"The designs should be light and fragmented. They shouldn't dominate the landscape and should sit well in the terrain while setting up a clear dialogue with the natural environment.

"That way you, as the occupant, are able to participate in that same dialogue."

The architecture at the Sardinia Bay Golf & Wildlife estate, says Bierschenk, should be sensitive to its surroundings in terms of scale and the guidelines ensure the homes complement each other visually.

"Although there is no prescription in terms of the actual style of the house, we try to implement a golden thread throughout the development so that one house is not completely divorced from another.

"Certain materials have to be used, but the architecture itself is not defined."

She explains that, within certain limitations, residents are encouraged to push the envelope when designing their dream homes.

"We especially request that people avoid referential or stylistic architecture and rather take their cues from the site, climate and their own requirements to come up with something that's sound in terms of design.

"Good design doesn't date, but adherence to a particular style does."

Erik Voigt says they invite architects to put their design caps on and to challenge themselves to come up with something different.

"For example, if similar materials are used, the architect can still come up with something unique by exploring variety in other ways - the idea is to invite innovation."

According to him, the architectural guidelines are there to "capture the spirit of the estate" and to "inspire freedom within reason".

"There's phenomenal vegetation on the estate, so the architects have to design with that in mind.

"We encourage fragmentation, which breaks the house up into components and can, for instance, enhance the sense that it sits gently in its surroundings."

Plans are submitted to the Design Review Committee, which comprises a panel of architects who determine whether they are in line with the guidelines.



The architectural guidelines at Sardinia Bay Golf & Wildlife Estate in Port Elizabeth encourage dialogue with the natural surroundings. 

Issued by: Full Stop Communications 
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