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Discover Sandcastle Luxury Villa, An Artistic African Oasis

Sandcastle Villa is an Eastern Cape hidden gem filled with African art and artefacts

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By Kimberley Schoeman  | December 1, 2023 | Design

Nestled amidst the breath-taking landscapes of the Eastern Cape, Sandcastle Luxury Villa is a secluded sanctuary that beckons art lovers from around the world. This architectural marvel, designed by David Mealin, effortlessly melds with its surroundings, making it the perfect intersection of art and nature.

Originally constructed as a family home, Sandcastle was transformed into a luxury accommodation in 2020, designed to provide travellers with the best of beach and bush experiences. The villa overlooks an expansive, privately accessed beachfront and offers uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean and the rugged bushveld of the Wesley Conservancy; but what truly sets Sandcastle apart is its dedication to art.

The villa is a living gallery, a tribute to African creativity and expression. Its unique style, known as "African Adobe," combines earthy tones, natural materials, and influences from both local and international ethnic designs. The villa houses the works of renowned and up-and-coming South African artists, creating a constantly evolving art space within its walls.

Nandipha Mntambo, Anushka Kempken, Blessing Ngobeni, and Adam Birch are among the talented artists showcased at Sandcastle. Their diverse styles and mediums, from photography, sculpture and acrylic painting, form an eclectic tapestry that art enthusiasts can explore and appreciate.

The villa also houses a stunning collection of African artifacts, each with a unique history and cultural significance. The Togu Na posts at the entrance to the sunken reading lounge are from the Dogon tribe in Mali. The ‘togu na” is the village meeting house for the male elders in the tribe.

With a West-African ladder in the passageway used to climb to the second storey of the flat-roofed, double storey houses. This ladder dates back to the early 19th Century. The beautiful door to the bar is an old granary door from Mali. Doors display carvings of Dogon mythology and cosmology that portray female fertility and animals. These figures represent the eight ancestors of mankind in the Dogon story of creation.