The original house was built by an architect in the 1930’s as his family residence. It had the beautiful proportions and timeless decorative details so typical of the era. During the seventies, the then owners made extensive renovations to the house, turning it into a faux Spanish villa. When the new owners purchased the property it was in an advanced state of disrepair.
The brief for the property was to maximize the existing structure and to create an elegant, timeless space, retaining some of the classical architectural features and adding slick modern interiors.
Investigations into the history of the house and structure, informed the design philosophy, to return the house to its original form, updating the exterior circulation and entertainment areas with lightweight steel and timber pergolas, which would double as shading devices, protecting the north-west aspect of the house from the harsh afternoon sun in summer.
Internally, communal spaces were consolidated, and the bathrooms and bedrooms reorganized into well-functioning private spaces. Stripping away unnecessary walls created an effective circulation axis through the house. The ultimate goal was to turn the once dark and gloomy interior into welcoming spaces filled with natural light.
In line with the approach to re-use as much of the existing structure as possible, some of the original timber floors, two original Victorian sash windows and an inter leading door were re-used. These were painted in contrasting colors, making them prominent features. Doors were given extra height to accentuate the high ceilings. Traditional steel framed external doors and windows were used, to complement the character of the original house. Polished marble floor tiles speak of tradition, whilst providing a modern edge to the scheme. The neutral color palette ties together the traditional architectural features, with frameless glass elements, the sleek fireplace and minimalist open plan kitchen.
The external spaces surrounding the house are arranged in a series of courtyards, each linked to an internal space. Each courtyard has its own water feature, visually connecting the indoor and outdoor spaces. The rest of the garden was terraced to reduce the impact of the steeply sloping site. The designers worked closely with the landscapers to turn the garden spaces into areas that would offer a physical and spiritual retreat from the busy road below the house.
One of the best features of the property is the unobstructed views of Table Bay. In the garden at the top end of the property, a previous owner prepared a platform for future development. Here we created an entertainment area, which offers a retreat from the rigors of daily life. The summer house is designed as a modified shed structure, in contrast to the exquisite main house. Comfort is provided with a fireplace for winter and irresistible couches for lazy afternoons. The entire front façade of the summer house opens up onto the lawned pool deck which terminates in an infinity pool. The summer house is equipped with a kitchenette and indoor braai, offering the necessary home comforts to ensure the perfect entertainment space for long, leisurely summer or winter days.