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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Nathan Kirsh South African Real Estate Tycoon Buys London's Tower 42 For $440 Million

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A South African property magnate has finalized a deal to acquire one of London’s most famous landmark skyscrapers,London daily City A.M has reported.

Nathan Kirsh, 79, will be acquiring London’s Tower 42 for $440 million from its previous owners, Blackrock UK Property Fund, Hermes Property Unit Trust and LaSalle Investment Management. It has not yet been made public how he Kirsh intends to finance this acquisition.

Tower 42, which was officially opened in 1981, is currently the fifth tallest building in London. The 183 metres (600 ft) high building was formerly known as the NatWest Tower because it was originally built to house the National Westminster Bank’s International Division. In 1993, the tower was damaged by an IRA bomb and was subsequently renovated and sold off by the bank.

Kirsh is one of Africa’s most successful real estate developers. Born in 1932 in South Africa, he holds residency status in Swaziland, the United States and the United Kingdom. His real estate holding company, Kirsh Holdings Group, owns extensive and extremely valuable residential and commercial properties in London, Australia and South Africa. In August, the Wits University grad sold his 29% stake in Minerva, a listed British property developer for $78 million.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Charlie Vettori - An Artist's Home

Top Billing designer location of Charlie Vettori
Charlie Vettori - An Artist's Home
Decorative artist Charlie Vettori and her husband Gianni's beautiful sprawling thatched house is our featured home on this week's show. Charlie has used her artistic skill to weave family memories and fairy tales into rich tapestries that line the walls, surfaces and furniture of this warm family home.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cantilevered on the bluffs of Cape Town. Designed by Richard Townsend and Stefan Antoni

This modern holiday home is located on dunes covered by shrubby vegetation on the spectacular coastal village of Yzerfontein, which is north of Cape Town in South Africa. Designed by Richard Townsend and Stefan Antoni for a couple of professional New Yorkers, its modern architecturallines’s defiantly stand out in amongst the traditional vernacular figures in the surrounding neighborhood. The holiday home has been designed to guarantee both privacy and contact with the surrounding nature thanks to a clever system of sliding doors.

Leaning against the dunes covered in fynbos (“fine bush” in Afrikaans), the L shaped plan is spread over three levels; the home has been designed to intensely enjoy the view and the sea air. There are two bedrooms with a bathroom on the top floor, communicating with a cobbled terrace, living room and kitchen at the intermediate level, linked to the garden and infinity edge swimming pool, and a third room plus a photography studio.

The box construction is composed into a sequence of animated geometry, with floating horizontal slabs intersected by vertical partitions, prismatic volumes and, more importantly, floor to ceiling sliding glazed windows that are fully retractable to open the main living areas to the outdoors. There are also retractable massive wooden shutters made of a tropical hardwood called “balau” that slide over the glass to protect it when the weather gets rough.

The stairs are cantilevered solid wood shelves, put in the wall and supported by slender steel rodshanging from the ceiling.

Photos: Adriano Brusaferri

Beautiful contemporary home in Cape Town by Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects

This dreamy sky-high home captures the feel of the sea below by using levels to spectacular effect in Cape Town, South Africa, designed by SAOTA (Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects) andOKHA Interiors. La Grande Vue 5A was designed for a growing family that needed to demolish their bachelor pad and build a larger residence. The result is a dual-level penthouse, including two en-suite bedrooms, a living area and a kitchen on the first level, a studio, third bedroom and garage on the lower level, and an apartment underneath. On the roof, is a swimming pool and terrace, as well as the magnificent SKY BAR containing a cocktail bar and entertainment area.

The architect’s bold control of levels and layering has resulted in a visually stunning sculptural interior. They wanted the feel of the apartment to be a contrast between laid-back comfort and slick sophistication. Crème-de-la-crème marble slabs were used for the floors and the woods were lime-washed to give them a ‘beachy’ feel. Accent colors were kept to greys and aquamarines. Adam Court of OKHA Interiors created a range of furniture using the home as a canvas. “We wanted to create a relaxed but sophisticated look; one that was not only about individual pieces but about creating a totally new experience.

The result is a balance between the functional and the eye-catching, from white-leather sofas to ethnic pieces found on exotic travels. David Reade glass pieces sit alongside stacked cubic frames, together with cashmere throws and deep pile rugs. “We wanted to break free from the mould, create a piece of poetry that plays on light, space and geometry, and balances the primal quality of raw surfaces with modern elements,” Stefan concludes. Via

Visit the website of SAOTA Architects here.

Contemporary Bridge House in Cape Town

The recipient of numerous design awards, Bridge House is an icon of Cape Town’s best contemporary architecture. Comprising three separate areas, the main part of the house is accessed by crossing over a timber walkway into a floating glass and steel box, surrounded by trees, and with city and harbor views in the distance. It is situated in Higgovale, one of the top city suburbs, on the slopes of Table Mountain. It’s location, Just below Kloof Nek (which leads you over to Camps Bay); it is convenient for the beach or the Waterfront with its smart shops, restaurants and night life.

The property is surrounded by a unique garden with mature trees, and numerous private decks for relaxing outdoors. With a heated overflow effect swimming pool that appears to tumble into a gurgling mountain stream, this is the ultimate retreat and you would never know that you are so close to the city center. Linked by elevated walkways, and furnished in a minimalist style with contemporary furniture, this property holds great appeal to modern design enthusiasts.

The bedrooms are all very spacious and private. The three bedrooms near each other feature glass walls with mountain or garden views, while the fourth bedroom is reached by a charming stone pathway which follows the stream through the garden. All bathrooms feature marble and polishedconcrete surfaces. The living/dining room and semi open-plan kitchen also have floor to ceiling glass windows and sliding timber shutters to ward of the sun or ensure total privacy. There is a second living area, small dining room and kitchen near bedrooms 2 and 3, and a further dining area and kitchenette on a lower level, opening to a large deck furnished with deep, comfortable day beds and loungers, next to the swimming pool. This spectacular villa can be all yours for a refreshing retreat, found here.


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