Secure coastal living at its best
Michelle Swart finds out more about the first homes built at Kenton Eco Estate
CONSTRUCTION continues at Kenton Eco Estate, a blue chip, 230ha beachfront estate near Kenton on Sea, with the first two homes now completed and owners taking up residence this month.
Chris Swart, executive director of the estate, points out that investing in a home in a secure, unique estate such as this has numerous benefits, including the potential for sound capital appreciation.
“Secure estate living in SA had its advent in the mid 1980s when the first golf estates were proclaimed. Today these estates are commonly recognised as secure townships, offering unique lifestyles coupled with the fact that real estate values are often considerably higher for homes located within these estates. The vision of secure coastal living, with all the advantages of ecofriendly construction and living, gave rise to the Kenton Eco Estate.
“This project represents a total investment of about R1,2bn, including homes to be built. It includes services in excess of R100m, as well as a R6m gatehouse, which is a doublestorey building of 400m² with spacious facilities.
“The gatehouse, perimeter security fence — with infrared dome cameras, motion sensors and detectors — and boundary wall, boardwalks and associated infrastructure have all been completed to the highest standards,” says Swart.
Michael Wilmot, Pam Golding Properties area principal in Kenton-on-Sea and marketers of the estate, says the newly completed show house is in an elevated position with sweeping 180 views of the ocean, coastal dunes and rolling hills inland.
“With extensive decks and glazed facades, this residence is ideally located for viewing the indigenous game and bird life, both from the upper floor bedrooms and the ground floor living areas. While efficient and functional, this luxury home meets all the requirements of the eco estate,” says Wilmot.
In designing the show house, the architect’s vision was to merge the buildings with the natural environment rather than allow it to dominate the site. This has been achieved by positioning the single-storey garages on the highest point of the stand, with the double-storey dwelling lower down, and by connecting the two with lowpitched hipped roofs with Dutch gables and deep overhangs.
Water tanks and pumps are hidden behind stone-clad walling beneath the decks and house to minimise their visual impact, as well as reduce the extent of cut and fill on site.
Natural colours, materials and elements, such as the paint colour, stone cladding, water and timber decking, are used to enhance the connection to the environment and reduce the visual impact on the landscape.
The use of natural colours and materials continues indoors, with neutral tiling, pebble shower floors and stone fireplace detailing, with light-coloured paints enhancing natural light.
The architecht says the home has been designed to ensure maximum use can be made of rooms and spaces during all seasons and weather conditions, with the living room opening on to a deck and a sheltered courtyard, and all bedrooms opening on to the balcony.
The design of the building creates strongly defined private and public spaces, and intimate and open areas.
The approach to the house is through a secure, covered entrance gate positioned between the double garages and opening into a fully enclosed courtyard.
The grand double-volume entrance lobby positioned opposite on this central axis, serves as both the central circulation point and the dividing space between the private upstairs and the more public downstairs. This accentuates the grandeur of the spaces to be experienced throughout the home, says the architect.
The use of elevated door and window heights accentuates the relationship between the indoors and the outdoors, which is further emphasised through the high ceilings and corner sliders in the bedrooms and living areas. The grand double-volume entrance is a striking feature and central point that accentuates the grandeur of the spaces throughout the home, while elevated door and window heights and high ceilings emphasise the spacious proportions.
Wilmot says to date stands to a total value of R170m have been sold, mainly to local buyers. At present, 100 of the total of 330 stands are available for purchase on the estate.
They are priced from R500 000 to R1,65m, and each measures about 850m².
“The appealing lifestyle of this development is a key factor for buyers. This is coupled with sound investment potential, further boosted by the recent interest-rate reduction,” he says.
Located within reach of Port Alfred and Grahamstown, the estate incorporates 2,15km of beach frontage with private boardwalks to the beach, 160ha of dense coastal forest, and 70ha of dune forest — all with free movement of game.
The emphasis is on sound eco-building practices, such as solar geysers, indigenous planting after construction and the use of sustainable local materials, while sites for homes are discreetly positioned within enclaves of natural bush and grassland.
From an eco perspective, the architectural design style — created by architects FD Theron — advocates the use of only sustainable local materials that over time will build up an attractive patina to blend with the surrounding natural vegetation. The only formal gardens will be in the courtyard areas in order to preserve as much natural vegetation as possible and maintain the integrity of the paths and spaces used by the wild animals in the area. The design guidelines incorporate only indigenous planting in order to minimise irrigation and unnecessary expenditures of energy reserves, while street lights are of the bollard-type soft lighting that minimises light pollution.
Rainwater harvesting is also encouraged, and in addition to the solar geysers the layout of the houses follows a passive design that takes advantage of local conditions. The estate also includes its own state-of-the-art, custom-made, waterborne sewerage plant.
Says Wilmot: “In addition to the temperate climate, Kenton on Sea is a growth area with increasing ecotourism and has a good infrastructure. The new Rosehill shopping complex in Port Alfred and top educational facilities in Grahamstown add to the appeal, while Addo Elephant National Park and Big 5 game reserves — such as Shamwari and Kariega Park — are within easy reach.
“Increasingly, we are seeing home buyers choosing to opt out of life in busy cities to enjoy a better quality of life, while commuting to work. Kenton Eco Estate, besides a holiday destination, is ideal for these purposes,” says Wilmot.
The estate incorporates walking, jogging and cycling paths, while other activities include water sports, fishing, whale-watching and horse trails.
A scenic view from one of the completed homes at Kenton Eco Estate.
One of the completed homes at Kenton Eco Estate.