location: Western Cape | architects: Arthur Quinton – Darryl Croome Architects | interior design: Corrie Quinton Interiors | interior decoration by owners | photography: Neil Corder

Indigenous landscaping, emphasising texture and colour, is seen as an extension of the living spaces in this contemporary home on a verdant stretch of Cape mountainside.

The area under roof is 557m2 – including basement, ground floor, first floor and underground patios – quite an achievement on a site measuring just 533m2. Given the confirmed nature of this mountainside location, the brief was to provide generous family and guest accommodation. Say the architects, ‘This was the primary challenge. Further, the exquisite mountain backdrop of neighbouring Kirstenbosch, and panoramic vistas to the eastern mountain ranges, were to be captured in the design process.

‘The clients were also quite specific, in regard to their preference for a layout which would reflect an open lifestyle, a fluid relationship between interior and external spaces, whilst offering intimacy to the private bedroom zones. Both prerequisites were design essentials. A clean-line approach to the extensive glazed elements was key in exposing uninterrupted views, both within the site and beyond.’

Distinct living and sleeping zones are immediately apparent on entry over a glass bridge with koi pond gleaming darkly below. Visually, the expansive living space extends to the site boundaries, which are defined by a rock-clad wall on the Kirstenbosch boundary, and a dark lap pool which – like the koi pond – reinforces the linear nature of the site.

The exquisite natural setting influenced the selection of natural, robust materials, viewed as an honest response. As a departure from often over-used down-lights, concealed lighting in slotted ceilings and bulkheads is supplemented by up-lights in key floors e.g. the entrance. Customised  focus elements, like the riven quartz cladding on the stairwell and its floating stairs, are subtly included within an harmonious whole.

Externally, the impact of dry-pack rock cladding to base walls, and feature screen walls around the swimming pool, is complemented by dark-stained timber screens and decking. Architecturally, the horizontal layering of the elevations with solid ‘earth’ base, floating slabs, timber clad box and angled roof, visually reduces the scale of the house.

This is a unique and innovative contemporary mountainside home, personalised by the clients’ interest in fabrics, textures and special pieces of furniture; many of which reflect their life experiences.