House tour: A South African home celebrating its unique context and holiday living

This South African home is a celebration of its unique context and the rituals of holiday living. Restio River House is located along the banks of Buffels River close to its mouth in Pringle Bay, a small coastal town less than 100km from Cape Town. It is a holiday home to a family of five, who retreat here approximately two weekends a month.

Having owned the property for seven years, the family decided that it was time for a rebuild. “The brick beach house was dilapidated, the landscape was degraded, and the house was in the wrong place on site,” says Philip Olmesdahl, director of Saota.

Starting from a clean slate meant that Philip and the homeowners had the opportunity to design something that would better respond to the site in terms of topography, wind, sun, and view.

“The house turns its back on the severe prevailing offshore winds that blow up the river,” says Philip. It now faces North, with a large stairwell that floods the kitchen with glorious morning light.

Man-made architecture and the natural landscape engage in a symbiotic dialogue that makes Restio River House the perfect family holiday home.