Local Escapes: Sondagskloof Wooden Chalets

WORDS Lindi Brownell Meiring IMAGES Arthur Peuckert

These two inviting holiday cabins, located in the Sandies Glen Valley 20 kilometres from Stanford in the beautiful Overberg, were designed and built by local timber construction specialists, Swissline Design.

The idea behind the project was to build two eco-friendly guest pods that have a minimum impact on the environment. “We have created a living space for ourselves here on our farm that is sustainable and self-sufficient,” says owner Cathy Marriott, “and we wanted to share the lifestyle we had created for ourselves with other like-minded people.”

With this in mind, the team at Swissline Design developed a functional design and layout that would blend in with and not interfere with the site’s environment.

“The cabins were raised off the forest and vlei ‘floor’ so as to have almost no impact on the surroundings and natural vegetation,” says Cathy. “The grey water waste is filtered through gravel beds and taken up by the roots of the surrounding Poplar trees. Water is piped from a spring and gravity fed down to the cabins.” When it comes to electricity, both cabins run off solar power.

The 50 m2 insulated timber frame homes are made from a combination of solid Siberian Larch with black sheeting and a charred facade, created using the traditional Japanese method of burning timber. “The end effect is both contemporary and distinctive and requires no maintenance,” says Swissline Design’s Nadia Lüdi.

Construction time on site was kept to a minimum, as all the manufacturing took place off-site at Swissline’s workshop. “These units took two days each to assemble,” says Nadia.

Inside, Cathy chose to keep the decor simple, mixing contemporary sofas and beds with vintage and handcrafted pieces.

“The end result: buildings that sit ‘lightly’ and blend in beautifully with their surroundings,” says Cathy.

You can book a stay in the Forest Chalet at R2 000 for two nights and in the Vlei Chalet at R2 400 for two nights. For more information and to book, visit sondagskloof.co.za.