location: Camps Bay, Cape Town | architecture: Arthur Quinton and Darryl Croome Architects | interior Design: Antoni Associates – Adam Court & Mark Rielly | photography: Adam Letch & Matt van Niekerk
An old single storey home existed on this enviable site. It was in dire need of refurbishment and had failed to capitalise on the benefits of its 900 square metre stand on the slopes above Camps Bay; the developer decided to demolish it. In its place is a pair of distinctive, upmarket units of contemporary architectural style; sectional homes of approximately 400 square metres each under roof.
Architect Darryl Croome says: ‘The two units needed to read as separate entities, rather than a single monolithic over-scaled structure. The street elevation on the entrance side achieves this with a slit in the ‘boxes’ allowing light into a pond separating the two entrances. The units present themselves to the street in an inviting manner, rather than the typical high-walled / security approach we see so much of. The most notable aspect is the sense of space and light on the living levels, with many interesting view angles.’
The intention from the outset was to maximise footprint, accommodation and views, and the interior plan was integral to achieving this. Says Adam Court of Antoni Associates: ‘The brief was for refined, easy-living, comfortable and uncluttered spaces where one gets a sense of the internal volumes and of course the external views. A prerequisite for the decorative palette was to achieve a distinctly contemporary look within a warm and inviting ambience.
‘Extensive investigations into every possibility the site offered were key. Whilst working within the permissible building envelope a creative solution to circulation
between the entrance and the two levels was needed. The interior colour palette was kept narrow, relying on natural materials to provide texture and warmth. Furniture adheres to a very clean and linear narrative, forms are strong, graphic, easily read and once again a diverse use of materials plays a vital role in creating visual layering and warmth.’
Two spacious units resulted, with living levels on the upper floor to maximise views and recreational lifestyle. The bedrooms are on the lower level and this floorplan required circulation from the entrance at ground level, via a dramatic floating glass tread staircase and a lift. The cooler lower level provides for a wine cellar and utility rooms, plus a private garden and courtyard areas with access from the bedrooms.
This approach meant that interior spaces were kept intentionally sparse, and as such each item was required to be able to stand alone. It provided the opportunity to create certain key custom-designed pieces; the entrance rug and stairwell light installations were conceived purely for this project and are visual focal points immediately upon entry.
Says Adam Court: ‘The cantilevered floating stair treads with a light box feature are a dramatic and highly graphic introduction to the interior. In contrast, the stair wall is a large expanse of naked vertical space; we wanted to provide some visual focus here but found that locating an artwork or wall sculpture was problematic when ascending / descending
‘We therefore opted to create a bespoke pendant light fitting that traversed the upper level and ground floor, visually linking the two environments. We designed a simple and elegant form which was blown in glass by David Reade and then strung multiple cables of differing lengths directly under the stairwell skylight. The resulting light installation is modern and captivating and becomes an art / design installation in its own right.’