Habitat Jun. 2012

REVIVED TRANSFORMATION

Location: Clifton, Cape Town
Architects: Jenny Mills – Jenny Mills Architects
Interior architects: Jenny Mills / Arlene Rottanburg – Summersun Property Designs
Interiors design: Arlene Rottanburg
Photography: Elsa Young

THIS RESIDENCE, WHICH HAS APPEARED PREVIOUSLY IN HABITAT, HAS UNDERGONE A SECOND MAKEOVER AS A RESULT OF THE CLIENTS ACQUIRING FURTHER RIGHTS TO INCREASE THE SIZE. CURRENTLY SPANNING 200m^2, IT INCLUDES A SWIMMING POOL AND TWO OUTDOOR DINING AREAS, WITH A NEW CANTILEVERED PATIO OVERLOOKING ALL FOUR CLIFTON BEACHES.

The swimming pool doubles as a Jacuzzi. The pool is complemented by pure white marble slabs set in a random French pattern.

Here the patio furniture is by Dedon and on the new cantilevered deck, Philippe Starck Louis Ghost chairs and a circular glass table top are used.

Furniture with larger than normal volumes was chosen because its visual weight grounds the spaces. Upholstery features natural hues while materials / fabrics provide a uniformity that visually expands the interiors.

The natural wooden floor coordinates with putty-toned fabrics, white leather and Earthcote plastered surfaces. European oak flooring throughout was installed by Oggie Oak flooring. (Oggie Fsc European Oak Legno Rustic)

The interior includes sitting room, sun-bed area, master bedroom, various bathrooms, kitchen and dining area. Previously this was part of an old 1926 block of flats, which had been converted into a Sectional Title scheme. Today this development consists of eight apartments, each with separate garden, swimming pool and patio. The challenge was to transform a very old apartment into a modern minimalist, cutting-edge residence. The clients’ initial makeover involved gutting the area via demolition, to create an elegant contemporary residence dedicated to comfort, and which would facilitate high-echelon lifestyle. This second makeover involved demolishing the old patio area overlooking Clifton to incorporate it into the living space, and engineering a new deck that would cantilever out over the ocean.

The entire frontage of the residence consists of frameless, stackable floor to ceiling glass doors, which when open, create a wide access to the cantilevered patio laid with large slabs of white marble. Glass balustrades offer unimpeded views. The minimalist interior involves a fusion of textures and tones and includes inspiration from designers Donna Karan and Giorgio Armani; Arlene Rottanburg feels that Armani’s work is both classical and revolutionary. In this ocean-side location, the designer decided to relax her typically structured interior signature and chose an ‘eco-chic’ look in the form of furniture and sculpture to match the internal architecture. She says: ‘The result is that the residence and its surroundings defer to each other.’ When first renovated, the apartment comprised a small garden, a compact patio and about 80m2 of living space. Increasing the internal living areas, and cantilevering out the new much larger patio, was a singular feat of engineering. It involved propping up the entire apartment block and taking out specific insurance cover in order to achieve the desired effect.

The master bedroom adjoining shower and bathroom, resemble a small boutique hotel suite and were designed to include the views and yet offer privacy.

Architect Jenny Mills says: ‘The interior space was extremely small but over the years we have managed achieve extra space and now combined it with a garden and pool area which has made it acceptably sizeable. The new dimensions allowed us a wonderful opportunity for creative input’. Designer Arlene Rottanburg adds: ‘We wanted to achieve a result that would incorporate self-expression with relaxation as a prerequisite and the brief included a financial budget which enabled us to tackle the necessary technical and engineering challenges.’ The first renovation involved creating views and the eradication of beams and columns installed in 1926. This second makeover was an even greater challenge for engineer Ted Kelly, who had to work out how to to cantilever the new patio while at the same time not affecting the remainder of the structure. The end result is a clean, bright open space with panoramic views. In this apartment the seamless synergy of the parts builds into an holistic harmony. The ambience is created by an evident symmetry of architecture and interior appointments, within a well-tempered environment. Says architect Jenny Mills: ‘The understanding between architect and designer resulted in a clever use of space. The final look and feel is timeless.’

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