Cape Town is one of the most diverse and dynamic cities worldwide. While it is the second most populated urban area in South Africa, the city is also the seat of the national parliament and was recently named a World Design Capital. Cape Town’s eclectic cityscape includes a world famous harbor, distinct suburbs, and outstanding geography. Located between Table Mountain and the sea, Cape Town possesses a lively building stock, including the highest density of Cape Dutch style building in the world. While there are many notable projects designed for the city, from the 2010 FIFA Cape Town Stadium to Heatherwick’s future Grain Silo transformation, the city also boasts many unknown contemporary residential designs.
This collection focuses on modern residential design in Cape Town, drawing from different firms, locations, and clients across the city. While the houses are each a unique architectural exploration and formal expression, they all value expansive views, simple geometry and outdoor space. The designs make careful use of overhangs and partitions to allow a spatial blurring between exterior and interior rooms, creating programmed space that extends beyond the different houses’ perimeters. All the designs make use of rectilinear forms that emerge from the surrounding context and landscape. They are a series of homes that simultaneously rethink and celebrate the spaces and natural landscapes of Cape Town and South Africa.
Created for a British couple living in Cape Town, Nettleton 198 captures panoramic views of the sea and surrounding mountains. Dark colors on the façade allow the design to visually recede into the hillside, while the sun became a defining factor and influence on the project. Screens, louvres, and shutters combine to delineate the upper and lower floors.
This house was designed to embrace the rugged mountains and oceanfront with a modern, clean aesthetic. Careful partition and wall arrangement allows privacy, while the house also enjoys uninterrupted views of Cape Town’s city center.
Firth 114802 is found in Rondebosch, a suburban area with views towards The Back Table and Devil’s Peak. The minimal white box form addressed the client’s desire for a contemporary, open house while also capitalizing on the surrounding views. A distinctive screen wall faces the street while a courtyard, terrace, and open living space are oriented to the north.
Located in a part of Cape Town known as Lions Head, OVD 919 was designed to capitalize on spectacular views. Monumental forms were also implemented to create powerful, simple distinctions between spaces while framing the surrounding site. The concrete finish was also designed as a contrast to the house’s copper roof.
Situated on the Fresnaye slopes of Lion’s Head, this house has a strong visible presence and a combination of organic and rectilinear geometry. The architecture was based on the strong rock formations of the surrounding mountains. A living area with limited slender supports allows the boundary between interior and exterior space to disappear.
The Thorn Street house uses simple, rectilinear geometry between the different floors. The structure was created for a family living on Thorn Street in the southern suburbs of Cape Town. Wood slats, stone, and concrete combine to create a modern home that is private while simultaneously open.
A holiday home for a single person, the house in Camps Bay was designed to morph between private individual spaces and rooms for a house full of visitors. Every space has a sea view, and terraces look up to the nearby mountains. A subtle journey was created in the design through the spaces, landscape, and architecture.