location: Fresnaye, Cape Town, South Africa | architecture / interior architecture: Greg Wright Architects (Greg Wright, Federico Pastor & Suzaan Swart) | interior decoration: Samantha Scott – Peacock Design | photography: Adam Letch

Located at the foot of a mountain – on the Atlantic Seaboard of Cape Town – House Sea Lion was designed with the prime intention of being a home for entertainment. Insofar as making the mountain backdrop and the ocean at the fore integral elements that would contribute towards the overall living experience, the site presented a challenge.

Say the architects: ‘Privacy was an important issue, while trying to achieve the maximum allowable height. The close proximity of the adjoining neighbours presented an opportunity to think differently about how to organise the building on the site. Our resolution was to stack the built structure and optimise on height by separating the main volumes – by way of courtyard spaces – which offer an additional layer to the horizontal spatial relationships.

‘Key to the clients’ brief was to establish a visual synergy with the mountain and the ocean, and this is central to the way one circulates through the central spine that connects the two main volumes of the house. The internal courtyard, at ground floor level and upper bedroom level, becomes an integral extension of the internal spaces.

‘Double volumes work to shift the spatial experience at the entrance and living levels where the mountain and ocean gain honoured emphasis respectively. The main double volume staircase opens onto a more intimate water feature courtyard and extends towards the living area where sliding doors in the living room and dining room retract into cavity walls. This allows the entire reception / entertaining space to flow out onto the pool and barbecue terraces.’

The street edge is protected by splayed concrete walls with intentionally placed window openings from the master bedroom and study desk. Laser cut screens serve a dual purpose, offering security as well as a slick, aesthetic contribution to the façade of the house.

The minimalist signature within the interior finishes creates a sense of calm, which is dramatically contrasted by the bold and colourful décor. Task and discreet lighting has been layered to evoke contrasting but complementary moods throughout the house.

Greg Wright summarises: ‘Our clients are essentially very sociable people and great hosts. They needed both a home and a place in which to entertain – from where they could share the incredible natural beauty offered by this unique location.’

For the full article see Habitat #262 November / December 2017


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