SAOTA, the South African based architecture and design firm has unveiled a stunning new home positioned on the mountain ridge below Lions Head in Cape Town, South Africa. With breathtaking 360 degree views of Robben Island to the North and Camps Bay and the Twelve Apostles to the South, the building balances the need for views and the required privacy of the occupants.
“The architecture needed to focus on creating a contemporary, uncluttered and sculptural building,” said Tamaryn Fourie, senior associate and project team member.
The relatively steep site required the design team to adopt a sensitive approach to the project, with secondary spaces positioned at the lower levels with care taken to limit excavation. Strategically positioned penetrations within the landscape wall permit natural light and ventilation to the rooms beyond but glazing is set back and thereby concealed.
On arrival at mid-level, one is lured through the main garage with its double volume and graffiti walls towards the shaft of light and splash of landscaping emanating from the glazed Entrance Area beyond.
Sculptural timber clad stairs wrap themselves around a centrally positioned glass lift and take one to the upper levels of the house,” says Philip Olmesdahl, SAOTA director and project team member.
The building is limited to only two storeys above the ridge. The main living areas, pool terrace and garden are below with the family bedrooms strategically positioned at the uppermost level for privacy.
The ‘layering’ of the house permits different experiences in difference spaces. From the main stairs the linearity of the customised cast bronze coffee bar leads one into the ‘heart of the home’ – the Kitchen.
The Kitchen in turn spills into the Dining Room and the Summer Lounge with its high ceiling of ribbed concrete.
The Winter Lounge is also adjacent to the Kitchen but this time the ceiling is lower – framing the view – which together with the centrally positioned fireplace creates an intimate space for more informal gatherings.
“Throughout this level boundaries are blurred and there’s a wonderful continuity between internal and external living – it’s a house for all seasons and plays off the mood of the climate and surrounding landscape,” said Tamaryn Fourie.
The large gallery type spaces emphasise the magnetism of the site and its ever present backdrop of the mountains and the sea. this year’s show theme.
A courtyard ‘cuts’ into main living areas – its water feature and delicate weathered
Cor-Ten screen ensures a tranquil and sheltered space. The base of the water feature is glazed to scoop refracted light into the main garage below. The ‘woven’ Cor-Ten screen playfully reflects light internally whilst also offering privacy to the bedroom level above.
“The aesthetic of the top two storeys – when viewed externally – is of monolithic white concrete beams. Their weight is accentuated as they seem to ‘float’ on light glazed facades,” says Joe Schützer-Weissmann. With limited walls and columns this house is all about the view – even glazing has reduced mullions wherever possible.
A ribbed pre-cast concrete soffit creates continuity between the living spaces with all services being carefully co-ordinated so as to disappear within recesses. All off-shutter concrete was cast using a customised white concrete mix.
Once cured this was sandblasted to reveal a fine – carefully selected – aggregate resulting in a robust look.
BANTRY BAY, CAPE TOWN SOUTH AFRICA
PHILIP OLMESDAH, TAMARYN FOURIE & JOE SCHUTZER-WEISSMANN
STUDIO PARKINGTON DESIGN CONSULT