fynbos house in Betty’s Bay

There’s something remarkably special about the little seaside hamlet of Betty’s Bay which lies along the scenic Overberg coast of South Africa’s Western Cape province. It’s quietly rustic charm and abundance of natural flora makes this holiday town uniquely special. All too often, holiday homes spring up and spoil the indigenous fynbos, sticking out like a sore thumb. However, the very special Fynbos House, belonging to architect Sarah Calburn, has been designed to dwell harmoniously with its surrounding landscape by complementing the natural scenery instead of dominating it.

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Speaking of her philosophy towards building, Sarah says, “A question I ask my architectural self is what it is to be “between”. What is it to work in the space between architecture and landscape. Land is too often regarded as being passive – a site to be built upon, conquered and covered. Land is also more than a simple, sometimes-beautiful backdrop.

So it’s no longer about simply designing a house on a site, it’s about getting between: between the great humpbacked mountains; the dense coastal thicket; the violent weather; the delicate beauty of the fynbos; surfing the conceptual wave of freezing blue seas and blinding beaches; the wind-free zones; the long lunches; the view from the bed.”

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This successful marriage of architectural and landscape is truly a thing of beauty.

view the article on Visi. Photography by David Ross.

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