THE BIRD'S NEST

Perched on a hill­side in Cape Town wood­land, this tree­house-in­spired home of­fers its owner peace, tran­quil­lity and beau­ti­ful views of Ta­ble Moun­tain

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Elle Decoration Promotion - Words TR­ISH LORENZ Pho­tog­ra­phy GREG COX/BU­REAUX.CO. ZA/LIV­ING IN­SIDE Styling SVEN ALBERDING

Cape Town is a city where you feel a strong con­nec­tion

with the nat­u­ral world. From its high moun­tains to its wild beaches, the South African cap­i­tal has a tem­per­ate cli­mate and a laid-back life­style. It is here, on a plot of ma­ture wood­land in the up­mar­ket neigh­bour­hood of Con­stan­tia, that busi­ness­man Gra­ham Paar­man com­mis­sioned ar­chi­tec­ture firm Malan Vorster to de­sign a home that would make the most of the area’s scenery. Com­pleted in March, fol­low­ing a three-year de­sign and build project, the three-storey, 126-square-me­tre prop­erty is a raised, ar­chi­tec­turally strik­ing de­sign in­spired by tree­houses. ‘De­spite be­ing just a ten minute drive from the city cen­tre, it has a won­der­ful ru­ral feel about it,’ says Gra­ham.

Built on one of the high­est in­clines on the plot, the new house sits beau­ti­fully in the sur­round­ing wood­land and grasses thanks to a red cedar-clad ex­te­rior and slim legs made of tough Corten steel, which has a weath­ered, nat­u­ral fin­ish. ‘ We wanted the house to blend in to the back­drop, not stand out,’ says ar­chi­tect Pi­eter Malan. In­side, the first floor is an open-plan liv­ing, din­ing and kitchen area with a small bal­cony that frames amaz­ing views of Ta­ble Moun­tain: it’s the per­fect spot for break­fast. The doubleheight glass doors slide apart, so that two-thirds of the room is open to the out­doors. ‘There are no con­ven­tional walls in the house,’ says Pi­eter. ‘ Your eye is con­stantly drawn out­side. This makes the space feel larger than it re­ally is and it’s very serene in­side. You feel like you’re float­ing in the tree­tops.’

As you as­cend the wind­ing wooden stair­case to the bed­room and bath­room on the sec­ond floor and the top-floor ter­race, the tree­house de­sign comes into its own. The bed­room has a raised bed sur­rounded by curved wooden walls, cre­at­ing the sen­sa­tion of be­ing cra­dled by the branches of the trees. ‘I spend a lot of time in here,’ says Gra­ham. ‘It’s a priv­i­lege to be wo­ken by bird­song and the sound of squir­rels clam­ber­ing over the house, and to be able to see the amaz­ing sun­rises over the moun­tains.’

Nat­u­rally, wood is a key ma­te­rial through­out the in­te­rior, and fur­ni­ture is kept neu­tral and un­der­stated – this de­sign is all about al­low­ing the nat­u­ral world to have the up­per hand. Gra­ham likens his home to a co­coon and says that liv­ing here has had a big im­pact on his life. ‘The house has had a trans­for­ma­tive ef­fect on my life­style. It’s a sanc­tu­ary that’s far re­moved from the noise and dis­rup­tion of daily life,’ he ex­plains. With the South African sum­mer fast ap­proach­ing, he’s al­ready mak­ing plans to en­joy the space with friends. ‘I’m look­ing for­ward to en­ter­tain­ing on the ter­race, in­dulging in one of our lo­cal white wines, en­joy­ing the sun­shine and the views of the moun­tains in the dis­tance,’ he says.

Liv­ing area The open-plan first floor has a gal­ley-style ‘Sine Tem­pore’ kitchen by Val­cucine. Cop­per taps from Vola add a modern ac­cent to the nat­u­ral wooden fin­ish. The ‘Ground­piece’ sofa is by Flex­form, as is the ‘Gus­cio Soft’ lounge chair and ot­toman (try Aram Store in the UK). The square ‘G3’ metal-and-mar­ble cof­fee ta­ble and the cop­per ‘ Wan­der’ stand­ing lamp are both by Roche Bobois. For a sim­i­lar wood-burn­ing stove try Ch­es­ney’s Stock­ist de­tails on p205 ➤

‘IT’S A PRIV­I­LEGE TO BE WO­KEN BY BIRD­SONG AND THE SOUND OF SQUIR­RELS CLAM­BER­ING OVER THE HOUSE’

Din­ing area A ‘Con­tainer’ ta­ble by Moooi and ‘Feel­good’ chairs by An­to­nio Cit­te­rio for Flex­form cre­ate a snug spot for two Stair­case This twist­ing struc­ture is made of laser-cut Corten steel and lam­i­nated oak blocks, with a wooden handrail hand­carved on s

Bath­room This semi-cir­cu­lar tim­ber-clad bath­room has an out­door feel. At its heart is a wet­room with a ceil­ing-mounted shower rose. All of the fit­tings are by Vola. For a sim­i­lar basin, try Du­ravit Bed­room The raised bed, head­board and bed­side ta­bles were

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.