Remote Family Home in Cape Town Glows Like A Lightbox Among Trees

Perched on a hill in one of the most beautiful regions of Cape Town, South Africa, this extraordinary residence is one of the most recent and most amazing projects completed by the architects at SAOTA. It’s a family home unlike any other you’ve seen not just because of its rather odd appearance but also because of its wonderful connection with nature. One of the ways in which this is achieved is very obvious and has everything to do with the inverted pyramid roof. This design allowed the architects to frame the top floor of the house in glass, creating a clerestory window around the volume.

The glazed upper floor glows at night, being the only exposed part of the houseView in gallery
The glazed upper floor glows at night, being the only exposed part of the house
Although the house looks very contained and simple on the street side, at the back it unfolds and embraces its surroundingsView in gallery
Although the house looks very contained and simple on the street side, at the back it unfolds and embraces its surroundings
The rear of the house opens towards the garden, featuring large sliding glass doors View in gallery
The rear of the house opens towards the garden, featuring large sliding glass doors

The building is organized on three floors. The lower level contains a guest room, a cinema room, a gym and the garage. The one in the middle houses the bedrooms and the work spaces while the one at the top holds most of the social areas: an open plan kitchen, a dining space and a lounge area. What very interesting is the fact not the upper floor is one the only one which has a close relationship with the outdoors. Each level is in fact connected to its own set of gardens and courtyard spaces.

A stone wall conceals most of the house on the street side, offering privacy for the bottom floorsView in gallery
A stone wall conceals most of the house on the street side, offering privacy for the bottom floors
The front door is large and made of metal and it has a pivoting systemView in gallery
The front door is large and made of metal and it has a pivoting system
The entrance lobby is visibly connected to the outdoors through a large window facing the courtyardView in gallery
The entrance lobby is visibly connected to the outdoors through a large window facing the courtyard
The clerestory windows which frame the upper floor allow natural light and views of the sky and the nearby mountains inside the houseView in gallery
The clerestory windows which frame the upper floor allow natural light and views of the sky and the nearby mountains inside the house
It's quite amazing and also a bit curious how the spaces manage to feel so open and so intimate and cozy at the same timeView in gallery
It’s quite amazing and also a bit curious how the spaces manage to feel so open and so intimate and cozy at the same time
The living spaces clustered on the top floor enjoy panoramic views of the city and the wonderful landscape surrounding the houseView in gallery
The living spaces clustered on the top floor enjoy panoramic views of the city and the wonderful landscape surrounding the house
The kitchen, in spite of having an open floor plan, looks and feels like a separate, cozy nookView in gallery
The kitchen, in spite of having an open floor plan, looks and feels like a separate, cozy nook
A secret courtyard is contained between the house and the stone wall. It's the link between the internal areas and the outside worldView in gallery
A secret courtyard is contained between the house and the stone wall. It’s the link between the internal areas and the outside world
The spectacular, uninterrupted view of the city is the living room's main focal pointView in gallery
The spectacular, uninterrupted view of the city is the living room’s main focal point
In order to allow the focus to remain of the views and the connection between the house and its surroundings, the color palette is kept simpleView in gallery
In order to allow the focus to remain of the views and the connection between the house and its surroundings, the color palette is kept simple
The lounge area is framed by seamless, panoramic views and features two eye-catching and comfy armchairsView in gallery
The lounge area is framed by seamless, panoramic views and features two eye-catching and comfy armchairs
The house also featuring this amazing infinity edge pool and a small wooden deckView in gallery
The house also featuring this amazing infinity edge pool and a small wooden deck
The infinity edge swimming pool stands between the living space and the city skylineView in gallery
The infinity edge swimming pool stands between the living space and the city skyline
The artwork and decorations in general are minimal throughout the houseView in gallery
The artwork and decorations in general are minimal throughout the house
A large and sophisticated home office occupies a section of the middle floor and features an entire wall of bookshelvesView in gallery
A large and sophisticated home office occupies a section of the middle floor and features an entire wall of bookshelves
The interior courtyard is fully exposed and can be admired from the areas of the house that frame itView in gallery
The interior courtyard is fully exposed and can be admired from the areas of the house that frame it
Each of the three levels is connected to its own set of garden and courtyard spacesView in gallery
Each of the three levels is connected to its own set of garden and courtyard spaces
The bathrooms are as stylish as the rest of the house, featuring white marble walls and glass enclosuresView in gallery
The bathrooms are as stylish as the rest of the house, featuring white marble walls and glass enclosures
The palette of materials and finishes used throughout is reduced to only a few natural onesView in gallery
The palette of materials and finishes used throughout is reduced to only a few natural ones
The lighting throughout the house is perfectly on point, highlight the best design features in every spaceView in gallery
The lighting throughout the house is perfectly on point, highlight the best design features in every space