The brief sought an exclusive apartment development situated on the last remaining panoramic locality along Herrwood Drive on the Umhlanga Ridge. The site offered a consolidation of two of the four remaining plots and the brief sought a solution which would maximize the available bulk permitted for the site. The conceptual underpinning of the project was generated from the following observations:
• Durban offers an annual outdoor lifestyle environment due to its sub-tropical latitude; as such, historically, a particular architectural typology evolved into what is now described in terms of the Traditional Natal Verandah House. This example presents internal accommodation which is wrapped with covered outdoor space offering protection from both the solar aspect and general inclement weather, while providing maximum interaction with the surrounding environment • Due to developmental economies, most contemporary apartment buildings offer generic units within controlled, economically efficient building envelopes resulting in a ‘one size fits all’ scenario
With these two considerations in mind, the intention was firstly, to blur the boundary between internal and external environment in order to accentuate interactivity to the favourable environmental locale and secondly, to create individual and differential unit typologies which would represent the individuality of each of the tenancies.
The project offers a variety of two, three and four bedroom apartments, with three double storey spatially volumetric duplexes, and a high level penthouse, all of which are positioned to ensure privacy and access to ocean views. Due to a required economic efficiency, the units are all prescribed in a similar fashion; balconies, however, undulate and the units extrude back and forth presenting a dynamic spatial typology that offers individuality and differential spatial qualities to all units and experiences.
The interiors engage with the outdoor spaces via expansive glazed frontages, allowing extensive interaction with the views, thus offering integrated living environments. All spaces are carefully planned to promote ocean views from almost all vantage points.