Camp Robberg Residence

A home that pays homage to its environment and history

Completed November 2010

Situated, in a pristine enclave on the coast of South Africa: perched on a dune amongst a handful of homes and cradled by the Robberg peninsula reserve, ancestral dwelling of the KhoiSan.

A passionate owner: with a sense of responsibility to the environment.

The brief:

To build a home that would “pay homage to the Robberg peninsula”
This vision inspired the process, elevating Camp Robberg beyond ‘the next beach house’


A campsite in an indigenous forest and more than 60 planted trees, following the contours of the dune.

The lower roof shapes an origami dune-scape, planted with carefully selected endemic flora. The sculptural elevations of the ground floor are elusive and dynamic. They do not form an iconic image, but change relative to the point of observation. The transparency of this floor allows for vistas and spacial flow between dune, forest, ocean and Robberg. The stylized shapes of the first floor stand in contrast to the reconstructed dune it resides on. The rounded profiles sit comfortably in the natural environment.

Layout: pockets of accommodation within mostly open space for a multi generation family holidaying together. The client’s acute sense for space and clean understanding of simplicity and drama, reflects in the living/ entertainment area comprising two outside patios, straddling an interior lounge/dining room. Using giant sliders these may be turned into one large open area or any configuration thereof, depending on wind direction. Materials: The unconventional topographical shape of the planted roof is made possible by the tensile strength of reinforced concrete left exposed in various planes to reveal the woodgrain texture of shuttering, reflecting the brutalistic nature of the headland. Large expanses of laminated, float glass fill the gaps between sparsely spaced structural support. Raw wooden shutters and pergolas evoke the historical lumber industry and shipwrecks that dot the coastline.