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Sculpted in the rock

Sculpted in the rock

Sculpted in the rock image

In Cape Town, South Africa, along a steep slope, the team of the architecture office SAOTA takes charge of the design of an extraordinary residence, whose structure is directly inspired by the materials and the flora of the mountain on which it is built.

In this region of Cape Town, South Africa, enjoying spectacular views of the sandy beaches, the mountain of the Twelve Apostles and the sunsets over the Atlantic Ocean, the South African studio SAOTA, composed of architects Phillippe Fouché, Nilene Slabbert, Mias Claassens and Thabiso Nkoane, imagine a house that seems to emanate from its environment. The first aspect to address for the project was the steep slope, which had to be excavated to accommodate construction. Then, the villa is erected as a set of blocks rising along the side of the mountain. In this way, the upper levels, private spaces, are adequately protected from visibility and noise from street level. The conceptual approach consists in restoring, in the building, all the qualities of the natural landscape. Thus, the lower part is expressed as a heavy stone plinth, the gabion exterior and the interior of dark stained oak and formwork concrete reflect the strata of the mountain slope from which they emerge. Then, a transition space between the floors is provided in the form of a green terrace planted with trees. Finally, a grating with vertical slats overhangs the terrace, made from light aluminum imitating the different tones of the bark.

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