9 minute read

Into the Light, Villa with Views



This Cape Town home combines its breathtaking location with clean-lined architecture, panoramic views and considered interiors featuring a spectacular selection of contemporary designs.

This casual outdoor lounging and dining area is situated adjacent to one of the home’s two swimming pools, and is furnished with sofas, a day bed, a coffee table, a round side table and a round planter table, all of which are from the Gio range at B&B Italia (bebitalia.com)

Homes on this Cape Town cul-de-sac are not easy to come by. Situated high up on the slopes of Signal Hill and overlooking the world-renowned beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay, this is probably the city’s most exclusive location, and properties aren’t regularly on the market here. The owners of this remarkable house, for example, purchased their property back in the late 1990s, following a lengthy search for just the right spot for a Cape Town home.

Situated at the end of the street, a position that means it has jaw-dropping vistas in almost every direction, the plot had a small existing house on it. However, it “didn’t take full advantage of the views that made the property so special,” say the owners. “We were attracted to the location and views that the site offered,” and so, after a lengthy process of planning and approvals, the old structure was demolished to make way for something new. ›

And the resulting house most definitely does showcase those superlative views – while also giving them a bit of healthy competition in terms of the visual appeal of its architecture and interiors.

On arrival at street level, one’s eye is immediately caught by the home’s intriguing facade. A boldly ‘patchworked’ raised stone pathway leads to the front door, which is handle-free and almost invisibly punctures a wall clad in smooth, warmtoned cedar wood. Above this rises a semi-transparent, intricately patterned brise soleil, created using thousands of slimline terracotta tiles. ›

The street-facing facade of the house presents an intriguing aspect to visitors with an intricately patterned brise-soleil screen – created using terracotta tiles by Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola (patriciaurquiola.com) – above a wall clad in Canadian cedar wood. The bold ‘patchwork’ walkway, made from Paarl sandstone, evokes both sculpture plinths and playful childhood games of hopscotch

The top-floor deck area includes the home’s second heated swimming pool

Once inside the door, the sense that one has arrived somewhere special is continued in the entrance hall, which combines dramatic, tripleheight proportions with a sculptural staircase. And before there is even time to take in the stairway and intriguing, poetic artwork applied directly to the wall alongside it, one’s attention is diverted by a sensational feather-clad polar bear sculpture, by Italian artist Paola Pivi. With additional lightbox artworks catching the eye under the stairs and a multi-strand pendant light fitting, this is a playful, impactful and gallery-like space.

Take the long staircase up into the house, and the sense of boldness and an almost theatrical atmosphere continues. At the top is an expansive, open-plan living area – but the element that immediately draws the eye here is the spectacular 180-degree view of ocean and sky that unfolds all along one side of it. Once again, the space is filled with dramatic appeal, but as much of this is derived from the breathtaking view as it is from the considered mix of contemporary furniture and art that fills it.

Micro Wingback chairs with matching footstools, by Tom Dixon (tomdixon. net), are complemented by a round Garden of Eden rug from Moooi (moooi. com) and a glass-topped coffee table from Vibieffe (vibieffe.com)

What the owners have achieved – both here and on the higher floors of the house – are interiors that both complement and enhance the clean lines and view-framing simplicity of the architecture. In the living area, for example, sleek Antonio Citterio sofas provide comfortable seating, but are also an ideal design selection because they don’t visually interrupt the vista to the horizon.

Also notable for their beauty here are the interior finishes and fixtures, which range from sandstone and marble to wood panelling. Throughout, the palette of natural materials chosen to complete the interiors adds a feeling of ease and luxury to the spaces, while the furnishings include a plethora of prominent names in both contemporary and classic modernist design. Among the many highlights are modern classic pieces by Alvar Aalto and Le Corbusier; sculptural contemporary chairs by Tom Dixon; elegant outdoor furniture by Patricia Urquiola; and patterned rugs from Moooi. Adding unique touches are items such as the custom-made drinks cabinet by Ceramic Matters and a ‘pixelated’ server by Cristian Zuzunaga for Barcelona Design. And the final layer takes the form of artworks that are bound to be perennial conversation starters, including an ornate bust by South African contemporary art star AthiPatra Ruga. ›

In this guest bedroom, the Alys bed – designed by Gabriele and Oscar Buratti – and bedside pedestals are all from B&B Italia (bebitalia.com). The Malmaison Guimauve rug is by Moooi (moooi.com) and the bed linen is from The Conran Shop (conranshop.co.uk) The custom-made dining table, fabricated using wooden Douglas fir flooring planks from Dinesen (dinesen.com), pairs perfectly with the quilted Monster dining chairs by Marcel Wanders for Moooi (moooi. com). The Broadloom rug is also from Moooi

The kitchen – including the wall-mounted herb planters – was manufactured and installed by Bulthaup (bulthaup.com)

In the master suite’s bathroom, the vanity, bathtub and fixtures are all from Lavo Bathroom Concepts (lavo.co.za)

In the intimate dining area on the top-floor deck of the house, Canasta outdoor dining chairs by Patricia Urquiola for B&B Italia (bebitalia.com) are grouped around a circular table

The breakfast terrace is positioned to encapsulate the view of Lion’s Head, and is furnished with an outdoor dining table and chairs from the Gio range at B&B Italia (bebitalia.com). It’s the perfect spot for some quiet time spent enjoying breakfast alfresco and reading the newspapers, according to the homeowners.

This heated swimming pool – one of two pools at the house – is situated one floor below the glass-encased master bedroom suite, which has been positioned to maximise the views in every direction.

There is much to divert the eye and attention from a design point of view throughout this multilevel home, but the flow of the spaces is also organised to seemingly intuitively pull you through them – and inevitably, towards the panoramic views of the ocean at its front. Of course, the pristine and picturesque mountainside above and alongside the house is suitably celebrated too. The kitchen-diner space, for example, is perfectly situated for enjoying an alfresco breakfast, where one is positioned seemingly in the midst of nature rather than being mere minutes from the urban bustle of nearby Camps Bay and Sea Point. ›

Ambience is a multiple award-winning and market leading Interior architecture firm that brings creative, inspirational residential and retail projects to life around the globe.

Our team consists of 32 professionals: architects, interior designers, 3D render artists, furniture designers, communication manager, project managers, the admin & logistic team and of course an installation team. Since 2002, Ambience has been commissioned to work on luxury projects in the UK, Belgium, Hong Kong, The Netherlands, Germany, Egypt, Switzerland and St Lucia, and has ongoing projects with renowned architects and developers in both Spain and abroad. We are experts in turn-key projects and meticulously plan every design aspect of your home, from the entire interior design and furniture concept to kitchens, bathrooms, fireplaces, wardrobes, floors, etc. attending to the most smallest details, matched to perfection with our carefully chosen craftsmen for our recognized and influential bespoke designs, as well as always sourcing the new international providers and partnering with the most renown furniture brands, lighting & accessory worldwide.

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Interior and exterior merges for the main sitting area

Another curvaceous, oak-clad staircase connects the main open-plan living area with the floor above. The ‘Dreams’ server is by Cristian Zuzunaga for Barcelona Design (bdbarcelona. com)

In the main open-plan living area, the Antonio Citterio sofas and square Diesis coffee table, by Paulo Nava, are all from B&B Italia (bebitalia.com). The suspended circular light fitting is by Delta Light (deltalight.com). In the entrance hall, visitors are greeted by a whimsical, feather-clad polar-bear sculpture, ‘Bad Idea’ (2017), by Italian artist Paola Pivi (instagram.com/paolapivi). The oak-clad staircase is illuminated by a multi-part pendant light fitting by Bocci (bocci.com), while the light artworks placed under the stairs – ‘Alabasta’ and ‘Lifesystem’ – are by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa (jaumeplensa.com).

The master bedroom suite includes this private lounge and home office space. The circular bookshelves with integrated gas fireplace were codesigned by the owners and the architects, while the wooden screens are by Piero Lissoni (lissoniandpartners.com) and the patterned Amoeba rug is from Moooi (moooi.com). The padded lounge chair with matching footstool is from B&B Italia (bebitalia.com) and the slipcovered Ghost sofas and armchair are by Gervasoni (gervasoni1882.com)

A Crinoline armchair by Patricia Urquiola for B&B Italia (bebitalia.com) in the top-floor ‘skybar’ area, with a rounded footstool from the Butterfly outdoor collection by the same designer, also created for B&B Italia

The owners spend their southern hemisphere summers at the house, and throughout that time, invite multiple sets of visitors to stay with them. Their spacious, open-plan home lends itself perfectly to entertaining, and sunset cocktails as well as alfresco meals, which are regularly taken in the outdoor patio area adjacent to the top-floor ‘skybar’ – as the owners say with characteristic understatement, from this vantage point, “the sunsets over the ocean are quite spectacular”. This is a house filled with dramatic design appeal, but the loveliest element of all remains the all-natural panorama that encompasses both pristine mountainside and the bold expanse of ocean. While they appreciate and enjoy spending time in every room of their home, the owners remark that it remains a “privilege to wake in the mornings to the wonderful views”. e