Tour a Breathtaking Family Home in Cape Town’s Most Sought-after Street
In this remarkable new Cape Town home, modern comfort is blended with elemental architecture that draws on its dramatic setting above Clifton’s beaches.
Perched on the shoulders of Lion’s Head, this Cape Town home is designed to seem as if it has sprung directly from the steep hillside that drops off to the famous sequence of Clifton’s white beaches to the Twelve Apostles beyond. Designed by SAOTA, it is entered from Nettleton Road – arguably the most sought-after street in South Africa – and the entry gives the visitor a carefully composed impression of four lower stories, plus glimpses of two more levels that rise above.
The lower levels play host to six generous bedrooms, three of which can be interlinked for a family suite. There is also a double-volume entertainment space complete with spa, games and cinema.
From the almost chiaroscuro treatment of the cavernous entrance hall, the visitor is led upwards towards the generous light of the upper living levels. The main living area is at the very top of the building – within a double-height, open-plan space that houses a kitchen, bar, dining, living and family rooms as well as a winter lounge, study and art studio at a mezzanine level.
The glazed lines between inside and out peel back to blur the boundaries in a continuous transparent space that links a generous back garden opening directly onto Table Mountain National Park to a pool that stretches out towards the sea in front.
The spatial experience is carefully considered throughout: the house feels like a robust, seamless form whose functions are defined by intersecting planes, ceilings and floor treatments. This concept is used from the macro scale of the bar – whose glazed form slides dramatically out of the house and ‘floats’ over the pool with a glass floor – to the material scale of the rough concrete over the main lounge and the timber ceiling on the level below.
The masterful interplay of light, space and materiality plays generous host to its other family – a considered collection of contemporary South African art. The lines between home and gallery are always blurred, and from the Paul Blomkamp tapestry and Paul Edmunds sculpture that animate the entrance hall to Porky Hefer’s playful, inhabitable ‘Blowfish’, which floats within the double volume entertainment area, the collection has been carefully curated to work with the architecture.