The kitchen area reprises the theme of timber and black, and the terrazzo floors carry through from the entrance hall, too. The work surfaces are bus-hammered granite. The free-standing Beaune oven in anthracite with brushed copper accents is from takes centrestage in the cooking zone, while the pendant lights hang like statement visual cues over the island.
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Jan-Heyn and Pieter had been living in an old Clifton house, built in the 1940s, for two years before they decided to rebuild. While the old house “didn’t respond very well to the site” (and left them with a long, steep climb up the stairs carrying groceries from the garage, which was especially uncomfortable when it was raining), they nonetheless learnt some important lessons while living there. “It told us few things about wind – wind direction, the views, the sun and how to design around these climatic challenges,” says Jan-Heyn.
As Jan-Heyn and his business partner in their architecture firm, Pieter Malan, began designing the house, they found that their first key design decisions were driven by those lessons about the wind and the weather. He and Pieter came up with the idea of an arrangement, a little like a courtyard building, which created a sheltered outdoor space that faced north, turning its back on the southeaster.
“A lot has gone into bringing the landscape back to the building,” says Jan-Heyn. “It was very important that the building did not feel like an apartment block in the air.” Despite it being densely built-up, the presence of nature in Clifton – the ocean and the mountain – are central to the sense of place.
The dining room is marked by a transition from the terrazzo in the entrance hall and kitchen to a timber floor in pre-finished brushed oak, which brings about a change in texture and pace.
GUEST BATHROOM The guest bathroom reprises the pattern of vertical wooden slats found throughout the house.
The space is furnished with a selection of fine fittings that include brassware designed by Arne Jacobson for Vola, a rose gold framed mirror from Muuto and a marble undermount basin from Flamina.
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