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Luxury Oceanfront Escape with private courtyard

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.

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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.”

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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.

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The private courtyard sits between the living/dining area, the kitchen, and the more-intimate family room on the other side, coming full circle.

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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.

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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.

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Follow the sculptural concrete staircase down to the bedroom level, and continue down to the lower-level playroom and guest room.

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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.

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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.

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A soaker tub extends into the outdoors, facing the bedroom and connected to the rest of the bath.

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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.

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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.”

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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!

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SAOTA
photo credit: SAOTA & Adam Letch

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