In designing this house at Bantry Bay in Cape Town, South Africa, SAOTA (Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects) had two main objectives: to create a house that showcased the stunning waterfront as a main feature of its design, while accommodating the practical needs of a family, and as an escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. This house is indeed a great escape, oozing easy living and luxury at every turn. Spacious interiors open onto outdoor entertaining areas overlooking a private interior courtyard on one side, and the blue bay and beach on the other. Does it get any better than this? Take a tour and judge for yourself.
Dubbed “De Wet 34” this modern beach house boasts concrete walls and a shapely silhouette that begs to be explored. “Built over four floors, the living areas are open-plan yet have distinct identities,” explain the architects. “A minimalist weathered redwood and grey-shale street facade 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 soaring double-height living and dining room is an elegant, sprawling space enclosed in glass and views to die for. A glazed wall opens to the central courtyard on one side, and to the pool and ocean on the other.
The private courtyard sits between the living/dining area, the kitchen, and the more-intimate family room on the other side, coming full circle.
Warm yet modern, this open concept living area is topped with wood ceilings and an upper-level loft area overlooking the on-goings below. Behind the dining area, a five-ton cocktail bar is a sculptural centerpiece of rippling rough-hewn granite, anchoring this end of the space.
And on the other side, a rippling concrete fireplace and feature wall anchors this side of the space. With floor-to-ceiling glass doors on either side, this area becomes a roofed alfresco entertaining area with a simple slide side-to-side. The pool area, though outside, is as artfully decorated as interiors, bringing a subtle sophistication and sweet serenity out into the open.
Follow the sculptural concrete staircase down to the bedroom level, and continue down to the lower-level playroom and guest room.
The stairway leads up to a loft area. Overhead, the curved, wood-clad ceiling features a long skylight running the length of the open stairwell.
The bedroom is a cozy and earthy retreat – once in, you’ll never want to leave. This multi-purpose space includes a desk area for work, facing a television and an intimate collection of artwork – certain favorites including photos and pieces painted by the kids – splashed across the walls. The bed and sitting area faces a floor-to-ceiling glass wall which slides open to the outdoors.
A soaker tub extends into the outdoors, facing the bedroom and connected to the rest of the bath.
This spa-inspired space wraps you in earthy luxury, featuring trees branching up from the tiled floor and reaching up toward the wood-finished ceiling overhead. Expansive mirrors double the space visually, and a glass wall at the end leads to the tub and the outdoors beyond. A sliding wood wall closes off the bathroom from the bedroom area, delivering privacy on demand.
From the architects, “The interiors create an emotional and sensory journey when moving through the house. Furnishings are minimal and lines are kept simple and neutral. By utilizing a restrained and raw base of textures and finishes, the decor feels natural and subtly organic; the overall ambiance is one of calm and serenity. Color 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 color.”
Open to the outdoors, this indoor / outdoor house plan puts nature at center stage – and with views like these, it’s no wonder why. Bravo!
photo credit: SAOTA & Adam Letch