ARRCC’s one-of-a-kind contemporary home
This Cape Town pied-à-terre was designed to be a blank canvas for the owner’s expanding collection of African and South African art, and it is located close to the V&A Waterfront’s Silo Precinct.
The Zeitz MOCAA, a local architectural icon created by UK architect Thomas Heatherwick, is the cornerstone of the precinct. It is the world’s most important art museum devoted to African and diasporan artists. Its presence contributes significantly to the artistic and creative nature of the district.
Views of the harbor from one side of the apartment and natural sights like Devil’s Peak, which is a component of the city’s famous Table Mountain, from the other are noteworthy cultural and geographical markers. These contextual cues inevitably influenced how ARRCC and OKHA approached the interiors.
The client brief called for a very simple strategy. Instead of designing a number of distinct rooms, ARRCC chose to develop a single inner shell that would complement the apartment’s long, rectangular shape. Throughout the flat, integrated cabinetry allows for the concealment of storage and the presentation of sleek, uncluttered surfaces. This strategy also gave ARRCC the chance to rethink interior architecture by introducing subtle changes in volume and scale.
The kitchen, which is covered with champagne aluminum and looks like a cohesive addition to the broader white room, is maybe the most recognizable of them. However, the eating and lounge sections have similarly defined volumes. This strategy has been repeated throughout the flat, albeit with different materials in different areas—for example, sandstone in the baths and joinery in the living room—while keeping the monolithic aspect. The idea behind the transitional areas between rooms is to use different materials, textures, and patterns to create visually pleasing “palate cleansers.”
In order to include a conceptual or theme motif as much as feasible into the minimalist brief’s pure functionalism, ARRCC created a sequence of running lines that were used into the joinery and lighting design. There is an apparent connectedness between rooms and interior architecture pieces since these lines end before they actually connect.
On the other side, the specially made light fixture in the living room not only acts as a “holding element,” but it also represents the attitude that OKHA and ARRCC chose while designing the apartment. Although the mesh shades and other high-tech, sophisticated industrial detailing are clearly portrayed in its component pieces, the natural, organic walnut blocks that join the linear elements of the design contrast with another natural, handcrafted element of the design. Without sacrificing the concept’s elegant practicality, these nuances provide the design a layer of sensory and emotional depth.
Even though the interior architecture aims to carve out space, the furniture were designed to create sculptures. An inverse representation of the same formal language, the custom furnishings anchor and articulate the spatial experience, as exemplified by the monolithic limestone coffee table in the sitting area.
Their fundamental materiality and detailing exude warmth once more. The living room coffee table may be simple in design, but it has a textured appearance from acid washing and sandblasting.
There is a sensory layering that complements the minimalist’s serene, uncluttered aesthetic, from the ribbed marble finish on the TV unit to the fluting on the dining room table’s base to the chamfered edge of the tabletop. A deceptively modest, limited material palette—which becomes satisfyingly obvious only with familiarity and time—maintains the apartment’s serene atmosphere.
Similar to the feature light fitting, the custom drinks cabinet is representative of the apartment’s design concept. Its asymmetrical doors set off a heavily hand-worked, pitted, and patinated metal door against a purely minimalist mirrored surface. Its intricate texture conveys the level of attention to detail that goes into creating minimalism, which is best understood through interaction.
This restriction allows for a gallery-like atmosphere that is both pleasant and livable, allowing the art to be fully expressed. Even though the apartment looks like a closed space that is finished in and of itself, it is still open to its surroundings, including the precinct’s larger creative identity as well as the marina’s twinkling lights and the ships cruising the water.
- Architects & Architectural Designers