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The tiny holiday village outside Knysna, Buffelsbaai is uniquely surrounded by a Park- and Marine conservation area.

The ±200 houses are on very small stands and most of the original shacks have been demolished or transformed. The American ‘clapperboard’ style which has become popular in the Knysna area is the preferred style.

On this specific project, the challenge was to retain an ugly brick ‘blockhouse’ hated by the locals and to add another floor onto the original wooden & board cladded structure at the back.

The design proposal was to completely transformed brick structure internally and also by latching a light wooden box and a deck onto the façade.

The wooden planks and slats with varying patterns, not only echoes the connotation that Knysna has with the surrounding forests as well a rich history of the wood industry, but It also pushed the brick box to the background of the main facades.

The addition of the adjacent first-floor bedroom wing also broke the starkness of the original structure.

Two hidden gems of the original property, a viewing deck on the roof and a neglected courtyard at the back were unlocked in the design and now popular social spaces for large family, friends and neighbours’ gatherings.

A transformation very well received by locals and adapting to the needs of the client confirms another successful project by NEO Architects.