Interior Design Team: Jon Case, Wade Nelsen, Clive Schulze
Interior Decor Team: Mark Rielly, Nina Sierra Rubia, Gabriella Duarte, Anna Katharina Schoenberger
Photographer Adam Letch
Copy by Graham Wood
ARRCC has given new life to a contemporary Cape Town home- creating an urban resort- on a beautiful, treed site at the foot of Table Mountain. ARRCC’s additions fuse seamlessly with the existing architecture, originally designed by Antonio Zaninovic, enhancing its powerful connection with the surrounding landscape and magnificent city views.
The most significant architectural additions include a new garden pavilion, which replaced a small open structure, and the conversion and extension of a bedroom on the upper level to create a penthouse main suite. ARRCC redesigned the interiors throughout the main house, including the addition of an enclosed wine room. Outside, an extensive terraced lawn was added.
ARRCC’s priority throughout was to harness the energy of the juxtaposition between the contemporary, clean-lined architectural forms with the powerful organic presence of the mountainside.
“To be in an urban setting, yet with the powerful natural presence of Table Mountain, it inspired us to create an ‘urban resort,’” says ARRCC Director, Jon Case.
ARRCC Director, Jon Case
ARRCC’s approach to the pavilion’s design extended the architectural language of the main house, especially its raw materiality, and reprised distinctive features such as the chamfered eaves and floor-to-ceiling glass doors to augment the experience of the setting. The new structure, nestled into the landscape on one end, now floats out from the rocky slope, suspended in the tree canopy. It includes enclosed and outdoor elements featuring a bar, dining space, lounge, pizza oven, and barbeque areas.
Bespoke interior elements include the dining table and the light above it, designed in collaboration with Martin Doller, which combines twinkling lights and hanging planters. Perhaps the pièce de résistance, however, is a brass fireplace designed with metal smith Barry Ashmole of Garage, inspired by a 1920s copper diving helmet, and incorporating genuine vintage ship portholes.
ARRCC Interior designers Mark Rielly and Nina Sierra Rubia worked closely with the client, Shari Kennedy, on the design concept for the interiors of the main house.
“The interiors are a collaborative vision working with local artisans focusing on the use of materials to reveal their natural beauty and purest form, shaping bespoke pieces that are raw and transforming them into objects of luxury,”
ARRCC’s Afro-minimalist approach sustains a dialogue with the palette of raw concrete ceilings and roughly hewn stone walls. Smooth marble, bleached timbers, and brushed and patinated metals are layered onto the architectural shell, adding complexity and refinement to the gritty and earthy palette. Combined with glamorous accents and moody elements, the interiors capture ARRCC’s trademark “barefoot luxury” effect.
A subtle nod to mid-century design runs throughout the furnishings, many of which have been custom-made and involve collaborations with noteworthy local craftsmen such as OKHA, Martin Doller, and David Reade. The overarching approach, however, combines a quiet elegance with a sculptural yet functional and timeless feeling. Textured timber, leather, fur, and textiles also speak to the presence of nature in the surrounding landscape. The colors are muted, but dark woods and tactile touches provide contrast, as in the case of the fur draped on the kitchen chairs. Polished and glossy elements, such as metallics and mirrors, serve as reminders of the proximity of the city. The glass balls of the bespoke dining room light speak to the sparkle of the city lights at night. An atmosphere of moody glamour is most overtly expressed in the wine room, which is like a jewelry box with its gold-leaf ceiling and domed bronze lights, ebonized oak, bronze mirrors, and whisky-coloured velvet upholstery.
ARRCC’s distinctively relaxed but refined approach manifests in the fine detailing of the main suite on the upper level of this luxury villa. Continuity is created with the echoes of cedar strip and bronze cladding in the pajama lounge. The main bathroom, with its central feature bath, overlaps with an ample lounge space with spectacular views of the city. Marble features prominently on the vanities while soft matte travertine vein and pearlescent colours create a muted sense of glamour. Strategically positioned mirrors amplify the effect of space. The custom-designed bed is elevated on a marble base to enhance the appreciation of the sweeping views of the city. Every detail of the bed unit was custom-made, including the headboards, bedside tables, and bedside pendant lights.
ARRCC’s thoughtful and considered layering of architecture, interior design, and furnishings creates a serene but characterful space deeply fused with its setting. As a design statement, this home aims to embrace a contemporary African design narrative, fusing urban and natural elements for an inspiring experience of place.