his exquisite home high up in the hills above the magnificent Knysna lagoon on the Garden Route in the Western Cape, South Africa, is a modern masterpiece. It is located on the Jack Nicklaus-signature golf course of Simola Golf Estate. With strong horizontal and vertical axes, the house’s design is nothing short of dramatic, but it is softened by Knysna’s watery surrounds and its own swimming pools.
As Slimane Ouahes, director of Hong Kong-based architecture and interior design firm, Ova Studio, points out, the appeal of water is both aesthetic and practical.
“The smoothness of water often brings a good contrast with the hard shapes of a house,” he says. “Swimming pools are also an expression of relaxation, sport, and positivity… they signify having a holiday at home. They also offer more entertainment opportunities, for everyone from kids to the elderly.”
The sparkling salt chlorinated pools at this home are surrounded by grappa decking, which makes ideal positions from which to view the lush indigenous vegetation, manicured fairways and the Simola Knysna forest. The large gymnasium also boasts awe-inspiring views of the famous Knysna Heads, the cliffs that guard the entrance to the lagoon. On the lower levels, there is also a cigar bar and wine cellar, a two-car garage, laundry and housekeeper’s en-suite bedroom.
The ground floor sees light streaming into all living rooms, which showcase stylish use of concrete, glass and granite. The dining room is spacious and the open-plan kitchen is fully equipped with state-of-theart equipment. There are five, light-filled bedrooms and five beautifully fitted bathrooms.