Amaz­ing Cape Town house for sale

De­scribed as a na­tional trea­sure, this Cape Town man­sion was cre­ated by one of SA’s most tal­ented ad­ver­tis­ing gu­rus – and it’s up for sale


FROM the mo­ment you set eyes on it you know this is no or­di­nary home. With its tow­er­ing stone walls, thatch roof and leafy canopies, Black­wood Manor looks like some­thing straight out of a fairy­tale – not some­thing you’d ex­pect to find on the slopes of Cape Town’s Ta­ble Moun­tain.

How many houses boast a pri­vate moat that guests have to cross to get to the front door? Or walls made of hand­carved sand­stone? Or zip lines that al­low guests to whizz straight from the house into the pool?

But then ad­ver­tis­ing ge­nius Keith Rose was al­ways a guy who liked to think out of the box. For more than two decades he threw his heart and soul into cre­at­ing his own pri­vate Nev­er­land.

No ex­pense was spared: hand-carved stone was brought in to build the walls and vaulted roofs that cre­ate the feel­ing you’re in a me­di­ae­val cas­tle.

And in­stead of go­ing with bor­ing old con­crete, Keith (63) chose rather to use tree trunks as sup­port pil­lars through­out the house.

In­side, the man­sion is all glass, wood and stone, with spi­ral stair­cases lead­ing into a mind-bog­gling net­work of gal­leries and se­cret rooms.

Other amaz­ing fea­tures in­clude a 2 500-litre fish tank which serves as a room di­vider, a subter­ranean wine cel­lar with stor­age for 1 800 bot­tles, a spa pool that can seat 18 peo­ple, and a vast koi pond that sur­rounds most of the house.

For Keith this was his won­der­land – so friends and fam­ily were stunned when news broke of his mys­te­ri­ous death early last month.

The award-win­ning ad di­rec­tor’s body was found at the foot of Chap­man’s Peak near Hout Bay af­ter what seems was sui­cide, and now there’s spec­u­la­tion that the prospect of los­ing his dream home may have con­trib­uted to his stress­ful sit­u­a­tion.

KEITH was revered as one of the most bril­liant minds in South African ad­ver­tis­ing. He was best known for the iconic 1990 ad for Mercedes-Benz that was shot on Chap­man’s Peak. Three years later he helped cre­ate the

“mouse on the steer­ing wheel” com­mer­cial for BMW, which won two gold Lion awards at the Cannes In­ter­na­tional Fes­ti­val and was hailed as the best car ad ever made.

Now, near Con­stan­tia Nek on the south­ern side of Ta­ble Moun­tain, Keith has left be­hind one of the world’s most un­usual homes.

His fam­ily, who still live in the house while it’s on the mar­ket, have de­clined to com­ment on his death.

A Cape Town es­tate agent de­scribes it as one of South Africa’s na­tional trea­sures. “It’s not just a home – it’s a liv­ing work of art,” is how Tanya Jo­vanovski, fran­chisee of Raw­son Auc­tions West­ern Cape, de­scribes the prop­erty on web­site Prop­erty24. com.

Black­wood Manor was listed on the site in March this year. Ac­cord­ing to the Sun­day Times, Keith was heart­bro­ken about hav­ing to put his home up for sale but had no other op­tion – the news­pa­per re­ported sources say­ing he’d had to use the prop­erty as col­lat­eral for a loan, pos­si­bly be­cause of a failed busi­ness ven­ture.

It went on auc­tion in June with a re­serve price of R45 mil­lion but failed to sell.

W hen Keith and his wife, Marie-Louise, bought the prop­erty in 1997 for R550 000 it con­tained a hum­ble pre­fab­ri­cated wooden cabin. But over the years they trans­formed it into a pri­vate par­adise for them­selves and their four chil­dren.

Pic­tures on the es­tate agent’s web­site bear tes­ti­mony to the cre­ativ­ity and freespir­ited en­ergy that went into the home, as well as the care­ful plan­ning. The house, set on a 3 000m² erf, has five be­d­rooms, nine bath­rooms and a garage with enough space to park 17 ve­hi­cles.

The taste­fully dec­o­rated main liv­ing room has a vast fire­place, sand­stone walls, high ceil­ings and huge win­dows. A cast-iron spi­ral stair­case leads from the lounge to a sec­ond storey.

Tree trunks adorn the ceil­ing in a sec­ond smaller lounge while or­nate can­de­labras hang low over the din­ing ta­ble.

The wine cel­lar has arched win­dows that look into the depths of the huge koi pond which, apart from cre­at­ing a mag­i­cal un­der­wa­ter world when you gaze

(From pre­vi­ous page) into it, also helps to keep the wine at the cor­rect tem­per­a­ture.

Out­side, the moun­tain views are breath­tak­ing. Guests have a choice of en­ter­ing the L-shaped pool by slide or zip line. There are also var­i­ous lad­ders to climb and ex­plore, and a high bridge spans be­tween two trees over the crys­tal wa­ters.

Black­smith and artist Luke Atkin­son, who worked on the prop­erty, says Keith was like a child in a candy store.

“Be­fore he even had kids we used to run around that prop­erty. We would be duck­ing be­hind trees and he’d be say­ing, ‘You can foe­fie slide from here, let’s have a bridge here, let’s do a slide there.’ He was so young at heart.”

He re­calls the cre­ative en­ergy Keith poured into de­vel­op­ing the prop­erty.

“It had to be ab­so­lutely per­fect. To me the guy was an ab­so­lute ge­nius,” he says.

Now Black­wood Manor stands sil­hou­et­ted against the mag­nif­i­cent moun­tain – a mon­u­ment to one man’s in­cred­i­ble imag­i­na­tion.

Tanya Jo­vanoski of Raw­son Auc­tions in the West­ern Cape de­clined to com­ment.

1 Black­wood Lodge, ad­ver­tis­ing ex­ec­u­tive Keith Rose’s fairy­tale Hout Bay home. 2 The gar­den is a maze of green­ery, streams, trees and wooden struc­tures. 3 The home boasts an en­ter­tain­ment area on the deck and 4 spec­tac­u­lar views of the Hout Bay val­ley. 5 The out­door spa pool of­fers won­der­ful re­lax­ation on warm sum­mer evenings.

1 The manor boasts a pri­vate wine cel­lar with win­dows look­ing into the koi pond. 2 One of its fivelux­u­ri­ous be­d­rooms. 3 The home’s enor­mous liv­ing room. 4 One of its nine bath­rooms, this one with a glo­ri­ous view.

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