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Kloof 145 in Cape Town, South Africa by SAOTA

Situated on a very steep site with spectacular ocean and mountain views in Cape Town, South Africa , Kloof 145 residence designed by Cape Town-based architectural firm SAOTA

Architect's statement: Accessed from Kloof Road, which winds along the western slopes of Lion’s Head, this site is positioned in the wind-protected suburb of Clifton. Years before any development was introduced, this slope was conceivably covered by indigenous forest and fynbos. Today, however, the area is developed and enjoys spectacular views over the sandy beaches, boulder outcrops, and Twelve Apostles mountains towards the south and sunset views over the Atlantic Ocean.

Kloof 145 in Cape Town, South Africa by SAOTAimage © Adam Letch 

The first aspect of the project that required addressing was the steep slope that would have to be excavated to accommodate the structure. The home was conceived as an arrangement of staggered blocks that rise along the side of the mountain, with the upper, private levels becoming appropriately shielded from both visibility and street-level noise.

house with wooden and stone facade image © Adam Letch 

‘The conceptual approach to the design was to reinstate the qualities of a natural landscape,’ says architect Phillippe Fouché of South African architectural firm SAOTA, who lead the project. The lower part of the building, an independent apartment, is then expressed as ‘a heavy stone plinth’, its gabion-walled exterior and cocooning interior of dark-stained oak and off shutter concrete reflecting the strata of the mountainside out of which they emerge. On top of this is a transitional space that is expressed as a green terrace and braai area, representative of what would have been the landscape’s foliage level. All levels of the house are connected via a sculptural timber staircase, like a folded ribbon that, appropriate to the home’s design narrative, gradually lightens in tone as it rises.

terrace made with stone image © Adam Letch 

A vertically slatted box hovers over the terrace, allowing the forest bushwillow trees below to grow into this level, with screens that can be opened or closed to adjust the amount of natural light filtering into the interior, ‘as if you were sitting in the shade of a large tree’. The structure was engineered from a durable yet lightweight aluminium in a finish that mimics the different tones of bark, a durable solution to weathering Cape Town’s capricious seasons.

window with the ocean view let the sunlight enters the room image © Adam Letch 

‘Above this, the living level is set back considerably to follow the slope of the mountain, resulting in added privacy and acoustic buffering while creating the perception that one is on a platform, connected to the surrounding views,’ says Phillippe. ‘The space is visually extended via the introduction of a courtyard towards the mountainside, which allows for ventilation, light and, again, an opportunity for planting.’ The concrete ceiling of this level, shuttered with rough-sawn planks, championing its raw texture. This emphasis on natural materiality can also be seen in the wooden floors and timber-clad scullery in this space. The scullery also forms the base of a mezzanine-level private study, which is accessed via a bridge that spans the length of the room.

The uppermost level, the master bedroom, sits above the tree-tops and as such the materials – white marble, pale timber – and use of skylights express a feeling of air and openness while fold-away glass walls welcome in the full expanse of the view.

dining table near kitchen with double volume ceiling image © Adam Letch 

cozy living room with luxury furniture image © Adam Letch 

luxury interior design with comfortable sofa and wooden table image © Adam Letch 

tiger sculpture under staircase with wooden handrail image © Adam Letch 

wooden staircase with glass handrail image © Adam Letch 

pendant lamp hanged in a concrete ceiling in living room image © Adam Letch 

living room with window view to ocean in Cape Town image © Adam Letch 

cozy living room with illumination at night image © Adam Letch 

luxury interior design image © Adam Letch 

luxury kitchen island image © Adam Letch 

Nelson Mandela picture hanged on the wall image © Adam Letch 

bedroom design image © Adam Letch 

master bedroom design with decoration image © Adam Letch 

outdoor chairs in the terrace image © Adam Letch 

terrace with ocean view image © Adam Letch 

bedroom with spectacular sea view through window image © Adam Letch 

luxury bedroom design image © Adam Letch 

bathroom design image © Adam Letch 

infinity pool with ocean and Mountain View image © Adam Letch 

Ground Floor PlanGround Floor Plan

First Floor PlanFirst Floor Plan

First Floor Mezzanine First Floor Mezzanine 

Second Floor PlanSecond Floor Plan


Projects Name: Kloof 145

Architecture firm: SAOTA 

Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Site Area: 728 m²

Project Area: 1590 m²

Project team: Phillippe Fouché, Nilene Slabbert, Mias Claassens & Thabiso Nkoane

Engineers: Jeffares & Green Afrika, De Villiers & Moore

Quantity Surveyor: SBDS

Contractor: Cape Island Construction (CIC)

Interior Designers: Cecile & Boyd

Lighting Consultant: Professional Illumination Design

Landscaping: Nicholas Whitehorn Landscape Design

Photographey:  Adam Letch

By Naser Nader Ibrahim

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