Exploring a Secluded South African Guesthouse by Gavin Maddock

  • Affectionately named the Olive Tree Villa, this Brutalist guesthouse by architect Gavin Maddock tucked away on the South African coastline is as peaceful as it is durable.

    In the quiet seaside town of Yzerfontein, an hour north of Capetown, South Africa architect Gavin Maddock designed the Olive Tree Villa as a place to get away from it all. The award-winning build, located in the dunes looking out to sea and flanked by a nature reserve, was designed to manifest understated luxury through a holistic approach to design.

    Veiled in a sense of calm derived from its indoor-outdoor fluidity, the Olive Tree Villa calls on the client’s favourite holiday destinations. Named after the large olive tree in the courtyard that Gavin says commands more attention than anticipated – to a ‘surprisingly fantastic’ effect – the guesthouse affirms why patient and attentive design is what we should always invest in, not just in our permanent homes.

    Produced in partnership with Bosch

    The efficient one-wall kitchen with integrated Bosch Series 8 Compact Combination Steam oven in the guesthouse conserves floor space, promoting a relaxing and open living environment. 

    Gavin Maddock devised a home on the dunes that consisted of two pavilions which share a courtyard and cement plunge pool. “Two ground-level suites form the base of the ocean-side pavilion, the floor level of which is raised sufficiently to maximise white water views while enjoying the interaction with the courtyard,” Gavin explains. The street-side pavilion houses the service areas such as the laundry, garage and study, in what Gavin describes as a backdrop to the ocean-front suites that back onto the courtyard. The upper-level suite can be accessed via a bridge between the two pavilions, spanning the courtyard. 

    There was no missing out on capturing the coastal views inside the Olive Tree Villa. So much so, Gavin Maddock designed the guesthouse to have an entirely glazed facade that opens up in spaces such as the upper-level living room, letting you bask in the sea views and salty fresh air. Gavin says the design team’s material palette demonstrates their commitment to being mindful of the coast’s rugged environment and how the home could be easily maintained. The concrete exterior is softened by the timber screens which will patina with time, used for the upper-level terraces, street view windows, garage door and front door. 

    Coloured plastered brick construction – the same inside and out – was chosen to create a ‘relaxed holiday feel’ and paired with off-shutter concrete surfaces. As a hardwearing and no-fuss base for sandy feet in the beachside retreat, Gavin says they selected hardened coloured cement screed as the flooring throughout.

    “In the kitchen, we design for longevity, consistency and control. The aesthetics become an important consideration once we have that resolved.”


    – Gavin Maddock

    Gavin Maddock specified natural materials in the kitchen, settling on timber cabinetry and stone. The Bosch Series 8 Compact Combination Steam oven in stainless steel was selected as the chief appliance within this space, neatly tucked into the streamlined joinery.

    Stepping away from the typical white and bright coastal aesthetic, the Olive Tree Villa articulates understated luxury through dark-coloured cement screed floors, grainy wood joinery and metallic fixtures and fittings.

    Gavin Maddock ensured the Olive Tree Villa is just the place to watch the waves roll in on the dunes with an entirely glazed facade.

    Quality, unassuming materials have made way for an aesthetic that isn’t typically coastal but filled with rich timber and metallic tones. “The objective of an understated luxury interior is achieved through the refined detailing, warm finishing of the timber cabinetry and stone selection,” Gavin says. Gavin adds he selected appliances with simplicity and elegance to complement this palette, working with the client’s aspirations for a warm and minimalist interior. 

    Gavin attests the Bosch Series 8 Compact Combination Steam oven in stainless steel was selected in line with the quest for ‘longevity, consistency and control’ in the kitchen. The Bosch Series 8 Compact Combination Steam oven is a favourable guesthouse kitchen companion; bringing together the best of an oven and steamer in a compact appliance. As the clients maintained they wanted their guesthouse to be reserved as a stress-free place to unwind, the Bosch Series 8 Compact Combination Steam oven remains in line with this goal, seamlessly integrating itself into the one-wall kitchen design. 

    The Bosch Series 8 Compact Combination Steam oven comes with PerfectBake and PerfectRoast technology, easy-to-use touchscreen control and Bosch Assist that lets you find an automatic setting for optimal heat, temperature and time for different dishes. That’s without mention of the steam baking, promoting an energy-efficient and vitamin enhancing way to cook your meals. 

    The Olive Tree Villa is where you can leave your worries at the door, unplug and settle into the rugged coastal surroundings. Gavin Maddock and his team have designed a guesthouse that sees raw materials and warm finishes lay the foundation for longevity; where scrupulous attention to detail promotes just the right amount of comfort and ease you look for in a guesthouse getaway. 

    “The objective of an understated luxury interior is achieved through the refined detailing, warm finishing of the timber cabinetry and stone selection.”


    – Gavin Maddock

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