Architects: SAOTA – Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects
Location: Bantry Bay, Cape Town, South Africa
Project Team: Stefan Antoni, Bobby Hugill, Duke Williams
Interior Design: OKHA Interiors - Adam Court
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Adam Letch, Courtesy of SAOTA
From the architect. The site is positioned in the heart of Bantry Bay in Cape Town, on the slopes of Lion’s Head overlooking the bay. The brief was to create a home with all the spectacle of an Atlantic Seaboard showpiece but also to respond to the practical needs of family life and to create a feeling of sanctuary.
Built over four floors, the living areas are open-plan yet have distinct identities. A minimalist weathered redwood and grey-shale street façade opens on to a sculptural arrival courtyard which in turn leads to an entrance gallery. Dramatic volume, far-reaching views, sculpture and raw textures – rock, timber, concrete – are the cornerstones of this house, designed to form a canvas for the setting and develop a patina over time.
The Family room, placed on the mountain side of the courtyard garden, provides for cocooned living while the double volume Living and Dining area on the sea side is more dramatic, with its rippling concrete feature fireplace wall and commanding views. This ocean fronting section is a soaring space anchored by concrete and rock – a five-tonne cocktail bar of rough-hewn granite holds down one side of the living space. Although sea-oriented, with the pool terrace to the west, the main Living area also opens onto the courtyard garden on the east, with access to both by the way of sliding glass doors which open up so completely that it’s little more than a roofed outdoor space.
One descends through a double volume ‘under water’ atrium to the Bedroom floor and down another level to the Guest and Playroom areas.
The interiors create an emotional and sensory journey when moving through the house. Furnishings are minimal and lines are kept simple & neutral. By utilising a restrained and raw base of textures and finishes, the décor feels natural and subtly organic; 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 views of the mountain, the ocean and sky, and also the artwork to introduce colour.