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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

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