location: Melkbosstrand, Cape Town | architecture: GSQUARED – design architect: Renato Graca / Francois du Plessis | interior design: GSQUARED interiors – Murray Farquharson | photography: Niel Vosloo Photography

A South African-born couple returned to Cape Town after residing abroad for two decades. They approached the architects to design a new residence that would be entirely in touch with nature; both simple and unique – with an emphasis on natural light and space.

Says design architect Renato Graca: ‘They were specific with their brief. This was to be a home that allowed for maximum sunlight to be captured and filtered throughout the house, while providing for unobscured views, yet maintaining maximum privacy. We, the architects, visited numerous times through the day in order to get a thorough sense of the site’s genius loci.’

The resulting new residence for a family of four is situated on the outer edges of Riebeekstrand in the Cape, where the site offers breathtaking panoramic views of Riebeekstrand, Robben Island and Table Mountain. Located at the end of a cul-de-sac, the house had to firmly address the urban edge in terms of privacy, while revealing itself to the sublimity of nature. It measures 500 square metres under roof – including balcony and deck – on a stand of 1 300 square metres.

Architect Francois du Plessis adds: ‘The concept was a result of different layers taken from the site: nature, light, its context and the clients’ brief. Combining these various elements formed a hard private urban edge in synergy with a softly blurred threshold between interior and exterior – on the beach front.’

The house is a modern take on the Cape’s West Coast vernacular, with whitewashed walls and stone and timber features on the exterior. The street edge was treated with a combination of solid natural stone-clad walls and the entrance with concrete stepping stones and timber screens, with glimpses of glazed openings. Once at the glass front door, the view is revealed and framed by a cantilever pergola and natural granite walkway.

For the full article see Habitat #274 November / December 2019 | Habitat Online #4 December / January 2020

Newsletter Sign Up