An Old House Rediscovers Its Charm And Gets Updated With New Features

Once upon a time (in 1969 to be more exact) there was a talented architect by the name of Gilbert Colyn who decided to build a beautiful house for himself. He chose a spot below Table Mountain which had a nice view of the city of Cape Town, in South Africa. He drew inspiration from the designs of two already existing houses. They were the iconic Glass House which has been designed by Phillip Johnson in 1949 and the Farnsworth House completed in 1951 by Mies van der Rohe. It was a stunning house but, as time passed, it started to lose its identity and charm. Then, in 2017, things changed.

The house has a new front-facing facade with more privacy than beforeView in gallery
The house has a new front-facing facade with more privacy than before
The backyard has a manicured lawn which frames the house on one sideView in gallery
The backyard has a manicured lawn which frames the house on one side

The house was purchased in 2013 by architect Stefan Antoni of SAOTA. At this point, the house had already suffered numerous additions and alterations which weren’t exactly on a par with its original design and beauty. They were mostly out of character and didn’t reflect any of the features which the original architect had worked hard to implement back in 1969. In addition, the house had also been abandoned for some time and was in really bad shape, on the brink of being demolished.

At the back, the house features full-height windows and sliding glass wallsView in gallery
At the back, the house features full-height windows and sliding glass walls
A lovely outdoor lounge space flanks the lawn, featuring a stone floor pierced by greeneryView in gallery
A lovely outdoor lounge space flanks the lawn, featuring a stone floor pierced by greenery
The swimming pool has been relocated and now has a better view and more sunlightView in gallery
The swimming pool has been relocated and now has a better view and more sunlight

SAOTA started the process of returning the house to its original state. The goal was to help it rediscover its beauty and to not only save it from being destroyed and forgotten but also bringing it up to date so it could serve as a home suited for contemporary living. Together with ARRCC, they enhanced the overall structure and design of the house, inside and out.

The pool is framed by a concrete deck and hovers at the same level as the houseView in gallery
The pool is framed by a concrete deck and hovers at the same level as the house
The interior has been updated as well and rendered more suitable for a modern lifestyleView in gallery
The interior has been updated as well and rendered more suitable for a modern lifestyle
The living room, kitchen and dining area are now part of an open space with full-height windowsView in gallery
The living room, kitchen and dining area are now part of an open space with full-height windows

Several modifications were done to the exterior of the house. Visually, it was updated with a simple and modern design in sync with the original architecture of the house. Both the street-facing facade and the rear are open to the surroundings and feature full-height windows and sliding glass doors yet this doesn’t deprive them of privacy. at the same time, the swimming pool was relocated. Initially it was shaded by the mountain and it’s been moved to the sunny side, featuring a lounge deck and nice views of the city. This change allowed the courtyard to be transformed into a garden with a lawn, beautiful flowers and a water feature.

The dining area has a live-edge table with a gorgeous chandelier above itView in gallery
The dining area has a live-edge table with a gorgeous chandelier above it
The partitions were removed in various cases and adjacent spaces were connected, becoming oneView in gallery
The partitions were removed in various cases and adjacent spaces were connected, becoming one
The main bedroom is now open to the adjacent bathroom and even has its own intimate lounge spaceView in gallery
The main bedroom is now open to the adjacent bathroom and even has its own intimate lounge space

At the interior of the house, several partitions were removed thus allowing adjacent spaces to be connected. The living room, kitchen and dining area are now a single open space with sliding glass doors and full-height windows that open them to the garden and the surroundings. The main bedroom and its bathroom were connected as well. All these changes were aimed at refining the living experience and allowing the house to become an inviting and practical home with contemporary charm.

The sleeping area and the bathroom are separated by a large wardrobe and a pair of ottomansView in gallery
The sleeping area and the bathroom are separated by a large wardrobe and a pair of ottomans
This breezy bedroom has an open and fresh decor and large windows that open it to the backyardView in gallery
This breezy bedroom has an open and fresh decor and large windows that open it to the backyard
The new interior design is contemporary with a hint of rustic warmth and charmView in gallery
The new interior design is contemporary with a hint of rustic warmth and charm