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Cape Town, South Africa

A contemporary residence on the slopes of Lions Head, overlooking the Atlantic coastline. Natural finishes combine with bold simple forms to create a contemporary interpretation of Cape vernacular.
The brief was to create a home with all the spectacle of an Atlantic Seaboard showpiece but also to respond to the practical needs and complexities of family life.

Built over four floors, the areas, although open-plan, have definitive identities. A simple redwood and grey-shale façade, that opens on to a sculptural courtyard and leads into an entrance gallery, serves as a taste of the impact ahead. Sculpture, dramatic volume, far-reaching views and raw textures – rock, timber, concrete – are the cornerstones of the look of this house, designed to maximise the setting and develop a patina over time.

When it came to furnishing the formal living space, ARRCC conceptualised clean lined, contemporary furniture elements and together with OKHA, designed a bespoke selection of pieces specifically for this room, which included the sofas, armchairs, coffee table, feature floor lamp and the dining chairs.

In keeping with the raw, neutral palette, OKHA upholstered all the furniture in white leather which is further accentuated with the colourful wool rug, also designed as a bespoke piece. These pieces are inspired by an intuitive and emotive design aesthetic coupled with a deep respect for craftsmanship, quality and individuality.

The raw granite bar was hewn from the same granite that was used for the floor finishes and juxtaposed against this we have used a raw solid plank from an oak tree for the dining table which tones with the oak clad ceiling.

Entertainment is casual and relaxed, and the home is designed to make guests feel at ease – with the Atlantic Ocean and beautiful sunsets as the ultimate backdrop. Situated around the courtyard garden are the kitchen and family rooms. An outdoor Boma (African campfire enclosure) is situated in the corner of the courtyard garden. This is the focal point of summer outdoor living.

The interiors create an emotional and sensorial journey when moving through the house. Art plays a pivotal role here, with select pieces forming the initial impression – the first piece once inside the door a massive dugout canoe, the couple have always wanted a dedicated gallery, and aim to fill out the space over time with special pieces. The collection includes Kevin Brand’s twisting sculpture, Three Blind Mice, an Eduardo Villa bronze, an Egon Tanya bronze and a Lionel Smit portrait, Girl with Red. The Mokoro wooden dugout boat is from Central Africa and the fish baskets from Namibia.

By utilising a broad base of textures and finishes, the décor feels natural and subtly organic, comfort being of paramount importance at all times; the overall ambiance is one of calm and serenity. Colour is kept to a bare minimum; the interior works predominantly with a light and shade tonal range, allowing the exterior views, the mountain, the ocean and sky and also the artwork to bring in colour.

Architecture by SAOTA.