Projects

Villa Hesquin Wilderness - Western Cape (South Africa)

Transparency and an ocean view

Ceramic tiles play a vital role in a project of great formal simplicity on the beaches of Wilderness, South Africa
Author
Laura Maggi
Photos
Desmond Scholtz Photography
Architect
Eddie Da Silva
Surfaces
CENTURY
Distributor
Stiles
Year of completion
2015

With one façade looking out over the beaches of Wilderness, the other facing the mountains, Villa Hesquin is located in the Western Cape region of South Africa. This area of outstanding natural beauty is famous for its rugged, contrasting landscapes at the southernmost tip of Africa, the point where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. Built as a holiday home for a French couple, the villa boasts large full-height windows that extend from floor to ceiling and are incorporated into a loadbearing structure designed as a kind of aerial framework to emphasise the continuous dialogue between interior and exterior, one of the building’s distinctive features. The building is the work of Eddie Da Silva Architects & Bespoke Design, a South African firm that for more than 12 years has been specialising in the design of residences in South Africa (especially Johannesburg and Cape Town) and on the island of Mauritius, with special attention to the relationship between architecture and the spirit of the place. The practice also carries out interior design projects and produces limited edition furnishings and unique items sold in the Bespoke showroom in the city of George.
“We do everything we can to understand our clients’ needs and desires and to create a project that takes account of the place, the natural setting, the climate and the budget,” explained Da Silva.
“We strive to create a natural but contemporary style based on a combination of neutral colours and different textures through the use of materials such as stone, steel, wood and glass.”
Highlights of the Villa Hesquin project include the intentional asymmetry of the volumes, the use of flat roofs and right angles, contrasting colour tones between the exterior and interior, the enormous transparency of the structure, the astonishingly clean aesthetic of the interior, and the choice of natural materials. The anthracite colour of the exterior walls contrasts with the bright, luminous tone of the interiors, which have intentionally minimalist and contemporary furnishings so as not to detract from the natural setting, dominated by the power of the ocean and the Western Cape mountains.

With its dual north/south orientation, the villa captures natural warmth and sunlight with a high degree of efficiency. But when the sliding doors are opened on both sides, a pleasant breeze blows steadily between the swimming pool positioned on the north side and the ocean and beaches located to the south. The kitchen and living areas also open onto both sides, allowing for an uninterrupted interaction between the various areas. The ceramic tiles further enhance the seamless continuity between the outdoor and indoor spaces, between the swimming pool area and the interiors, and were chosen by the architects together with the owners after seeking the advice of the supplier. Eddie Da Silva recalls that “the ceramic tiling played a vital role in the residential project”, winning him the fourth The Quinquennial Tile Award for outstanding use of ceramic tile in the five year period 2011-2016. The ceramic tiles were chosen for their ability to blend harmoniously into the project.
The concrete/stone effect of Proxima (Century Ceramica) and the wood look of Woodtime (Monocibec), united by the grey colour chosen by the architect as the dominant theme for the interiors, brought exactly the right degree of warmth and personality, helping to create the mood sought by the clients.

Tiles
Century, Proxima
Type
porcelain stoneware
Sizes
80x80, 60x60, 30x30 cm
Colours
Grigio, Oliva
Technical characteristics
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): ≤0,5%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): conforme
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): conforme
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): conforme
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): conforme
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): ≥ 35 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): conforme
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): conforme
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): conforme
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): conforme
Certifications and awards
LEED
NF UPEC
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