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Definitely One of the Best Works by SAOTA Architecture: the Clifton 2A House

Clifton 2A Home by SAOTA is located in Clifton, Cape Town, South Africa and is built on a corner site that is wedge shaped and is just below Lions Head and overlooking Camps Bay and the Atlantic Ocean and as if that weren’t enough, it also overlooks the Twelve Apostles in the distance. A family home built on three levels, each carefully designed to take advantage of the panoramic ocean vista, Saota took the architecture one step further by creating interior “views” that are as beautiful as the waterscape beyond.

The man entrance to the home is positioned above a cantilevered concrete stairwell that runs alongside an immense off-shutter concrete wall that tapers towards its base. From here, the main entrance opens to a triple volume foyer featuring a sculpture set into a water feature.
A powerful flight of fancy is created by the monolithic stairwell, which connects the man level of study, gym, massage room and guest bedrooms with the social zone,
An entertainment room next to the stairwell features a faceted copper bar with a weathered patina and stone countertop.. Behind the bar a wall of custom laser cut aluminum screens creates a stunning backdrop to the items showcased on the wall of shelving.
The family room, kitchen, dining and lounge are all to the south and create a natural flow that leads to the centrally located terrace. Sheltered from the prevailing winds by two bedroom wings cantilevered above it, the terrace boasts amazing views and a blue mosaic rim-flow pool.
The terrace is divided into two sections – one overlooking the pool and a second, more private one positioned off to one side just beneath a skylight in the bedroom cantilever above.
Inside, the social zone has an unobstructed view of the terrace, infinity pool and views beyond thanks to the floor to ceiling walls of glazing and although the glazings expose the home to the strength of the summer sun. SAOTA created a passive cooling system by designing the home with high performance glazing, large overhangs, exterior operable shutters and perforated steel and aluminum eaves. On a side note; did you notice that awesome suspended fireplace in the corner?
Awesome fireplaces are the rule of thumb in this stunning home, featured in numerous rooms as well as on the terrace. We love the Master Bedroom’s fireplace with its customized Corten Steel conical flue with a weathered patina and a polished concrete plinth. Other luxurious touches are the off-shutter concrete wall, oak paneling and natural wood floors.
The main ensuite exudes a lush tranquility within its all white finishes and views of the National Park. Layering in a back to nature aesthetic is the outdoor shower, which adds the perfect Zen touch.
The top floor is where all the family bedrooms are located, each with its own private dressing room, ensuite and private balcony. The Master Suite and the other bedrooms are contained in two separate volumes, both set back, separated and rotated to create a central terrace that is protected from the prevailing winds. The two separated volumes are then connected via a glass bridge that – since it is glass – allows the north sun to pass through it, sending light into the central areas on the south side of the home as does the skylights located in the master dressing area
A key feature within the home’s design is the plinth that elevates the social volume on the second level up and over the noise of the adjacent street. While street side the home is mostly contained, the view side is open to a large terrace and swimming pool, offering an amazing outdoor lifestyle complete with panoramic views.
The main level of the home is partially set into the site’s slope. While acting as the support for the social volume above, it also contains the guest bedrooms, gym, study, garage and service rooms. Landscaped with lush vegetation and 7 yellow wood trees, the gardens create much needed privacy from the street just outside.

“The aesthetic of the house – when viewed externally – is of thin steel edges to perforated eyebrows hovering above bands of full height glazing offset against the massive and expressive concrete structure. Inside, off-shutter concrete walls retain their timber-shuttered texture, and, with natural stone floors have been sandblasted to provide warmth and texture against the more highly finished wall and ceiling finishes”

As quoted by Tamaryn Fourie; Project Leader.

“The owner’s brief was to design a flexible contemporary family residence. The site was spectacular requiring a design that could respond to a challenging sloped corner site and its aspects”

As quoted by; Thaabe Ramabina of SAOTA.
Photographs supplied by SAOTA


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