As we’ve featured several very decorative homes on the blog recently (for example, the wonderfully colourful home of Pippa Small, and the elegant apartment of Neal Cunningham), we thought we’d show you something a little different. We love Yola Bergh’s home for its pared-down aesthetic, inspired by Japanese architecture, and the way its design fits beautifully into the context of the landscape that surrounds it.
On the slopes of Table Mountain in Cape Town’s southern suburbs, the location of this home is stunning – not only are the views magnificent, but it’s ideally placed for everything the family loves to do, from hiking in the mountains to surfing, going to restaurants and shows, and entertaining friends. It’s hardly surprising, but this beautiful location was one of the key influences considered by architect Antonio Zaninovic when he designed this impressive edifice.
Keeping the bedrooms relatively compact and allowing the open-plan living space to take precedence, Zaninovic designed the house so it would be perfect for the large family and their friends to socialise together. This meant not only creating indoor rooms for the purpose, but also linking them with outdoor living spaces too. Several discrete areas expand the living space impressively, including a patio with mountain views, a courtyard, and an upstairs deck with a gazebo and a pool.
Floor-to-ceiling glass doors enable the house to be opened up, blurring the boundary between living space and landscape – a synergy further enhanced by the natural light that bathes every angle (as Zaninovic explains, the house is orientated to ensure each room gets light throughout the day), and the natural tones of the materials used.
Timber, concrete, steel and glass are used to create a sleek, neutral look inside as well as out, giving the whole building a sense of complete coherence. Thanks to the judicious use of warm-toned native woods – including Monterey Cypress, Muranti and smoked Kiaat – and other textures including hide rugs and natural textiles, the potentially austere interior is surprisingly welcoming. It’s also the ideal backdrop to statement pieces with Modernist lines – such as a Danish bench dating from the 1950s, an Eames chair, a 1960s coffee table, and a vintage pair of Parker Knoll chairs.
What we love about this house is its restful feel, how the Japanese aesthetic has been combined with modern materials for the perfect balance of East and West, and how the building sits so comfortably within the landscape. We’re sure you’ll agree, it’s breathtaking!
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