This luxury eco estate in South Africa wants to build ‘forest pod’ homes

 ·25 Mar 2023

Serenity Hills plans to build six “forest pod” homes within its 120-hectare eco-estate located in the coastal town of Margate on the KwaZulu Natal South Coast.

The pod sites will be located on an ocean-view slope, surrounded by coastal forest, with the building’s footprint adhering to the flow of the natural landscape –  designed to minimally impact the natural site, said Serenity Hills.

Development Director Sam Wenger noted that these pods would be constructed to emphasise indoor-outdoor living – maximising the visibility of the natural surrounding while allowing as much natural light to filter into the interior, mitigating the need for artificial heating and cooling.

In line with the sustainable ethos of the entire Serenity Hills eco-estate, the forest pods will be designed around green living. Each solar-ready home will be built with rainwater harvesting and natural ventilation high up in the trees.

Alongside the option of a fourth bedroom with its private entrance, each site – ranging from 1,800m2 to 2,700m2 – will include a separate utility or laundry space and chute.

Much like all the homes built within the eco-estate, the pod homes will include gas geysers and hobs and LED lighting, with on-site reservoirs guaranteeing three months of water supply for residents.

Additionally, establishing a communal vegetable garden will encourage the consumption of locally-grown produce, with fresh bread delivered to homes via Tuk Tuks daily.

Residents will also enjoy the facilities outside the pods, such as The Clubhouse with swimming pools, the Infinity Bar, and The Bistro, the estate said.

In addition to the nature trails, there will be yoga and pilates spots, bowling greens, a volleyball field, a golf driving range and a tennis court for active residents, with on-site medical care.

Serenity Hills noted that these forest pod homes are inspired by the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku – forest bathing – gaining popularity over the past few years.

“We’re excited to be bringing the globally popular forest pod concept to the mid-KZN South Coast, which, alongside the scenic beauty, offers residents many benefits associated with living in such natural surroundings,” said Wenger.

“The minimal aesthetic of the design will connect residents with the tranquillity of nature, honouring simplicity and sustainability. Residents can enjoy life’s quiet pleasures in these modern residences while accessing the Serenity Hills community and amenities, including tropical hiking and biking trails,” he added.

Along with the pods, the eco-estate noted that the development offers 600 appointed units spread out over three neighbourhoods, offering expansive views of the Indian Ocean.

The eco-estate also includes 70 hectares that will remain private conservation, home to some 250 bird species, 49 butterfly species, and game, with a generous buffer between villas to ensure privacy.

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