This Camps Bay house was built on a panhandle plot of only 485 m². The intent was to design a spacious contemporary, yet compact home for a family of four. This was achieved by opting for a 3 storey house with optimal heights that increase the spaciousness as well as a floating butterfly shaped steel roof.
The house design was furthermore inspired by minimalism and the “less is more” ethos was adhered to. The plan of the house is a simple rectangular shape of 12 m by 10 m, bisected by a steel and kiaat timber stairwell.
A significant added value to the house is the four car garage and a studio apartment / guest suite on the lower level of the house, which are accessed from the panhandle driveway.
The middle level comprises the living level which flows out onto a North facing, motorised awning shaded entertainment patio. The awning allows for sunlight to be selectively controlled: more sunlight is allowed in during winter and less during summer. Another unique feature of the house is its ability to completely slide open on the North facade by means of the sliding panels which move past the ends of the house, to become outriggers on the exposed structural steel frame which is used as both a proportioning device on the facade and an honest expression of the structural system.
Tall windows bring light into the space, but also integrate the garden beyond. The service area flows into the TV room/family room which offers views down to the beach. The TV room can be separated from the kitchen by means of full height oak framed sliding doors.
A custom designed kiaat stair screen serves as both a safety railing and a hat display. The randomised horizontal planes of this screen mirrors the waves, visible in the distance. The open plan Island kitchen with its secluded scullery/laundry room is at the heart of the living spaces and is finished in tones of high gloss white, grey stained oak accents and white and grey caesarstone tops.
The main living area is composed by black and white, offset by natural tones of kiaat timber. The metallic black tiled fireplace wall contrasts the “Italian Lapato” semi glass finished white porcelain tiles, the white leather couches and, evidently, the Barcelona chairs. The glass fronted pool focusses strongly on the element of water, which contributes to the tranquil atmosphere that soars in the private outdoor space. Other tranquility enhancing features are the planters and the cascading water feature.
The oak floored upper level comprises 3 spacious bedrooms and a compact study. Each bedroom has its own unique character and outlook. The master bedroom faces due North and looks out towards Lions Head and the Ocean through a seamless glass corner which also opens onto a small balcony. Minimalist main bedroom features, include custom mirror backed plaster niches carefully placed to break down the impact of the main dividing wall. The ensuite, which’ expansive feel is a consequence of the windows overlooking the garden courtyard and the white carrara marble porcelain tiles.
The house is “eco responsible” in design and reduces its long term impact by using sustainable technologies including solar heating, grey water systems, rainwater harvesting and most importantly careful use of shading devices to minimise the need for any artificial cooling in Summer.
What I like most about the house are all the modern elements and the way the areas flow into each other. I also love the triple volume ceiling of the lounge area, the floor to ceiling glass and the expanse of the glass doors which open onto the patio and garden. Also, the way the house opens up to the greenery and in so doing making it all flow and feel so much larger than it really is. The house is cleverly designed to face North and it allows the sun to flow in and bring warmth to the house. I love the design of all the bulk head ceilings. The plot is small and yet the house feels large and spacious. Ben knows how to maximise and make the best use of the available space. I also love the floating ceiling element of the bedrooms. I lie in bed at night, watch the stars and feel like I am floating. In summary, the Quebec Road house is pure magic. I wouldn’t change anything! I would also highly recommend KMMA architects and was grateful for their most professional service. Their team is a pleasure to work with and their creativity and efficiency are beyond exceptional.