This was a refurbishment and remodelling project of a typical 1950s house in Oranjezicht. The original house, although altered and added to over the years, still retained its distinctive Oranjezicht aesthetic, typical of houses in the area of that time.
The brief from both the client and Heritage Western Cape was to retain some of the key original features internally, but more importantly from the street aspect.
The site is located high up the slopes of Table Mountain, offering fantastic views to Lion’s Head in the West, over the City Bowl due North and all the way to the Tygerberg in the East. On a clear day, the views extend all the way across Table Bay towards Melkbosstrand and beyond. One of the most exciting challenges was to connect the house with the fantastic views of the majestic Table Mountain towering over the neighbourhood to the South.
The existing house was essentially a single storey dwelling built on concrete stilts. Over the years, previous owners had filled in the space below the house with compromised height accommodation. The existing house, built on quite a steep slope was consequently disconnected from its immediate surroundings. Two of our main challenges were to connect the house to its immediate surroundings, but to also maximise the fantastic views offered by its position high up over the city bowl.
The layout of the ground storey remained largely the same with some changes made to improve the flow. The biggest intervention on the ground floor was the addition of a large dining room over what was previously the roof of a lower ground floor garage. The open plan kitchen/lounge was improved and a large 16 m² flush glazed skylight was installed over the entrance foyer, connecting the house visually with Table Mountain.
The enlarged stoep connects seamlessly with the new dining room and the existing kitchen/lounge area as well as the existing master bedroom, providing effortless flow between spaces.
The remodelling downstairs was quiet dramatic due to the excavations under the existing house, reclaiming plenty of extra space and height. The existing garage was remodelled and extended, to accommodate 2 new bedrooms, each with en-suite bathrooms and a large plant room, which accommodates first world technology allowing for a fully automised, energy efficient and sustainable home.
The house is entered from street level at mid landing of the feature staircase, with one flight up to the upper floor and one flight down to the lower ground floor. The oak clad, curved stair spills out onto the upper kitchen / lounge and new dining room area, whereas the bottom flight flows seamlessly into the lower storey kids lounge, wine tasting-and storage areas.
The extra width required on the upper floor stoep and the steps transitioning from lower ground floor stoep down to the pool deck were made possible by introducing a colonnade of two rows of columns with a groin vaulted ceiling overhead. This became a key feature in the design of the remodelled house.
The brief was to build a separate, formal dining room where as many as 20 people could be entertained. This room was envisioned as the jewel box of the house. A local artist was employed to design and install a Roman inspired mosaic floor in collaboration with the client and architect. Each piece of tile was carefully broken and set to form a beautifully ordered, yet ornate tapestry of patterns and symbols.
The client is a very passionate wine collector and loves to enjoy his extensive collection with friends and family. Two wine cellars (each at different temperatures) located on the cooler, lower ground floor under the house are connected to each other and the adjacent tasting area by means of barrel vaulted, slatted ceilings. This being a contemporary reference to wine barrels and cellars under buildings in more traditional houses.
All five bedrooms have en-suites and each one has a distinctive Victorian aesthetic. Original Moroccan floor tiles were imported and mixed and matched to create a range of looks, from the playfull, coloured pattern in the kids & guest rooms, to the more formal look of the master en-suite. Victorian subway tiles cover the walls from floor to ceiling and were carefully designed and installed to create niches and setbacks without any cut tiles on any corner.
Working from home was an essential requirement in the brief and a dedicated office was created in the roof space without having a detrimental effect on the aesthetic of the original house. The roof of this office was slightly lifted off the main roof to create 360 degree views around the whole Cape Town.
I love so many aspects of the design of our house! I love the way the space allows us to move easily around the house. I love the cross vaulted colonnade that supports our spacious stoep, the barrel vaults downstairs and the brilliant huge skylight that allows us to see Table Mountain as well as the beautiful curved staircase. The whole design experience with KMMA was a delight. Riaan really went the extra mile to give us this house that we adore.