House Coffee was a virgin property endowed with a fantastic covering of indigenous trees. When the estate agents looked at the property, they asked why so much money was spent on a plot so close to the R72 road bridge, with literally two metres of river frontage.

What everyone missed, however, was that by turning the proposed building onto the diagonal, you could get a wide view of the river mouth towards the South, and North light streaming into the back of the living rooms. Every other property on the Bushman’s River estuary runs parallel to the river and looks right out across the river to the houses on the opposite bank, but this one had the possibility of getting a direct view out to sea. So, by orientating the building in terms of sunlight and view, we just got a totally different dimension. That only came about by recognising the property’s environment, and designing the building to fit it.

House Coffee maximises both outlook and sunlight, with an interface to the forest around it that makes it feel like the bush has come back and hugged the house.