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  • Justin Boyd

The Grey House

Designed on three levels, this bold beach house is inspired by the Palm Beach homes of Paul Rudolph, and the symmetrical and interwowen circulation patterns preferred by Andrea Palladio in his villas such as the Villa Rotunda, which was designed for spectacle and command over the landscape, as much as everyday living.

Proportioned in a brutalist style, the building is arranged in a symmetrical manner in order to emphasise its command over nature and indeed its resistance to the hostile marine climate of the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast. The deep verandahs ameliorate the harsh sunlight and heat, without the need for excessive air conditioning. Retractable timber screens shelter from the prevailing winds when needed. The Grey House is a low-tech, almost traditional response to its context.

Large volumes and generous spaces epitomise the grand and informal hospitality of this gregarious couple, and the well-appointed double-volume kitchen is truly as the centre of the home. The circulation within the “piano nobile” (main floor) is inspired by the interlocking 9-square floor plan featured in many of Andrea Palladio’s villas.

Photography: David Southwood

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