Nettleton 195 / SAOTA

Courtesy of SAOTA

Architects: SAOTA
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Mechanical Engineers: Spoormaker & Partners
Electrical Engineers: MAC Consulting Engineers (Pty) Ltd
Project Year: 2010
Project Area: 1,005 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of SOATA

Interior Design: ANTONI ASSOCIATES / Mark Rielly & Vanessa Theron
Structural Engineers: TCA
Quantity Surveyor: Meyer Summersgill
Contractor: Gossow & Harding


Our client purchased the site, after we had completed an initial Design Concept for the previous property owner. Our client loved the design, and the visual direction the home was going, and accordingly shaped his brief around the design he saw.

Courtesy of SAOTA


Whilst the site is fairly small at 874.7 sqm, it sloped away dramatically, resulting in a house of 5 separate floors which in many instances connects to the adjacent natural ground levels, or raised platforms. One accesses the house at the midlevel between the second and the highest floor, resulting in the house being only 2 storys above Nettleton Road.



This family home defines itself primarily by the way the principal living spaces at level two relate to the surrounding portions of site. This floor accommodates two generous living rooms, an open-plan kitchen and a triple volume dining room. Virtually all rooms open out to adjacent terraces or garden spaces, which allows the house to fully utilize the small property.

Courtesy of SAOTA

A dramatic open tread staircase and lift core, with a generous skylight creates a central spine which connects all the floors comfortably. Even the lowest level, which is a predominantly double volume gallery space formed by the cavernous space below the main living level and the steep natural ground line, has generous natural light via the stairwell and skylights. This floor accommodates a cellar, large wall surfaces for the client’s art collection, pool table, bar and open media room. The next half level accommodates the staff quarters and plant room. As noted above, the second floor accommodates the main living rooms, which enjoy fantastic views, and connection to portions of gardens to the East and North. The third and fourth floor accommodates four West facing en-suite bedrooms, a triple garage, a study and the entrance hall at street level. Views and a unique set of finishes enrich the otherwise compact size of most rooms.

Courtesy of SAOTA

The project is distinguished by its robust finishes and attention to detail. It’s seldom that a client allows us to use such raw finishes like the unpainted galvanized mild steel bridges and balustrades, at the entrance, the extent of off-shutter and the ribbed roofing and wall cladding. To introduce a softer layer of finishes a substantial amount of hardwood and softwood was used with rich stonework and resin bonded plaster wall finishes.

Courtesy of SAOTA

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Cite: "Nettleton 195 / SAOTA" 28 Aug 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 May 2015. <>
  • Alwyn

    Who were the project architect/team for this project?

    Great house in a beautiful setting

    • Daniel

      Stefan Antoni, Greg Truen and Philip Olmesdahl are the three partners.

  • Silentbee

    Facing due west with no sun control on the facade? That must be fun on a summer evening. SAOTA’s architecture is photogenic, but surely not comfortable…. or is this thing pumped full of HVAC?

    • Daniel

      All their houses have extensive HVAC systems. Most clients wanting to build these types of houses in Cape Town don’t really care about running costs. Green architecture is still a very infant concept in SA, but we will get there.