La Lucia: luxury and exclusiveness from the new world of BRICS

Antoni associates bear witness to the architectural quality achieved by South Africa

by Malcolm Clark
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La Lucia is the name of a large holiday beach house designed by Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects on the coast of KwaZulu Natal, in the region of Durban, in the southeastern part of South Africa.

Antoni Associates is the interior design division of SAOTA, a design company based in Cape Town, but with building sites scattered across the world. This exclusive project allows us to reflect on the shifting centre of gravity of world architecture, following the development of so-called BRICS countries (the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), in terms of cubic meters, but also of building quality.

While it is still difficult to recognize distinctive and original elements in these new players in the international arena, it is certain that such a well structured reality contrasts to the fragile and broken up systems of a country like Italy, where small offices find it difficult to compete on an international scale.

The building has been carefully designed to fit into an area that has strict environmental controls, within a protected Milkwood forest, large tropical trees whose scientific name is Alstonia. All the spaces open onto both the cinematic landscape of the sea front, with a spectacular swimming pool and the garden to the west, which is bathed in sunlight in the afternoon. The four bedrooms are upstairs and look out onto the sea with private terraces.

The Antoni associates interiors express simplicity and size, making the house comfortable and cosy. Sand-coloured polished concrete floors, bleached wood, natural leather and untreated cotton linen... these neutral tones are broken by touches of charcoal, turquoise and blue. The only concession is the façade facing the sea which is 'wrapped' in sliding anodized bronze screens, inspired by the pattern of the Milkwood trees, which become the leitmotif of the house.

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    La Lucia 113

    La Lucia

    Durban / South Africa / 2011