West Coast Minimalism

GSQUARED architects as Architects and Interior Design

The clients - a South African born couple that returned to Cape Town after residing abroad for two decades approached us to design them a permanant residencie that would be entriely in touch with nature, be simple and unique with the emphasis on natural light and space.


They were specific with their brief for a home that allowed for maximum sunlight to be captured and filtered throughout the house by the day, invite the unobscured view into their home whilst maintaining maximum privacy. The architects had numerous site visits, at different times of the day, in order to get a thorough sense of the sites’ genius loci.

This new residence for a family of four, is situated between the urban edge and Riebeekstrand in Cape Town. The site allowed for breathtaking panoramic views of Riebeekstrand, Robben Island and Table Mountain. Being at the end of a cul-de-sac, the house had to firmly address the urban edge in terms of privacy, while revealing herself to the sublime of nature.


The concept was a result of different layers taken from the site, nature, light, its context and the clients brief. Combining all these different elements formed, a hard private urban edge and a soft blurred threshold between inside and outside on the beach front.


The house, is a modern take on the West Coast Cape Town vernacular with white washed walls, stone and timber features on the exterior. The street edge was treated with a combination of solid natural stone cladded walls and timber screens with glimpses of glazed openings. The visitor is lead to the front door on concrete stepping stones and a timber screen. Once at the glass front door the view is revealed and framed by a cantilever pergola and natural granite walkway. 


On the beach side, open entertainment areas, contrasts between a balance of sliding elements providing privacy, protection against the extreme afternoon sun and solid walls for privacy. Different outside entertainment areas were intentionally split to enjoy much needed protection against the harsh natural elements.


There is a distinct separation between public and private space: the ground floor is reduced to the public living spaces, kitchen and guest bedroom. The first floor is reserved for the family, with three private bedrooms, each with their own en-suites and a family lounge.


The material pallet was met by the choice of uncluttered, natural and raw finishes like concrete soffits, a combination of polished concrete, natural stone and timber floors, oak cabinetry and ceilings. All these different layered elements combined in the humblest of form ensured that nature can render the house with her vernacular West-Coast beauty. 

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