Low Environmental Impact, High Community Impact Design
One of the few Blue flag beaches left on the South African coastline, Dolphin Beach is an integral part of the local community due to its easy access and good swimming area. As the local council seeks to develop the site and attract investment for the town, it became important to keep all role players appraised of the design intent and process.
The conceptual master plan sought to link additional new developments further along the beach by creating a continuous boardwalk that not only provided by a means of physical linear movement but also a structure to deal with the sand and scrub transition and erosion. The sensitive means of pole footings for this raised walkway was used as a generator for the hotel and villa pods raised on pilotis as a means of constructing all facilities. This low-tech environmentally gentle solution is contrasted by the striking white concrete frames proportioned to impact with as little “solid” volume on the beach as possible. Lots of glazing is used with shutters for privacy. The visual aesthetic is one of calm; white structure and blue glass, which provides a low intrusion of the public and private realm.
Community facilities such as skate parks, mini football and basketball courts together with a conference and hotel facility, all serve to “centralise” the communal energy and focus of the town activity.