Three14 Architects square up in Cape Town with a mountainside house

Kim Benatar and Sian Fisher, co-founders of Three14 Architects
House OVD525 designed by Three14 architects is located in Bantry Bay, Cape Town.
(Image credit: Adam Letch)

Kim Benatar and Sian Fisher, co-founders of Three14 Architects, persuaded their client to demolish his home of ten years to create this calm, contemporary cuboid in Bantry Bay, Cape Town. In with the new! We say. Looking for an open-plan home that was elegant, yet easy, a peaceful backdrop to his routine and a space that would transform easily to entertain guests, their client made a brave decision, yet a life-changing one with House OVD525.

Using exposed off-shutter concrete, the architects created strong vertical flanking walls to define ‘voids’ of living space, then slotted in a series of horizontal slabs, which extend as platforms for the gardens, decks and pool.

Three14 Architects square up in Cape Town with a mountainside house

(Image credit: press)

Take an interactive tour of House OVD525

‘The exaggerated thickness [of the concrete] provides a sense of privacy, containment and intimacy whilst creating a strong visual framing for the spectacular views beyond,’ says Fisher, principal architect at Three14, whose main challenge was to balance privacy and openness.

The house sits on a steep mountainside, looking out across views of Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard, Robben Island and into arresting ocean sunsets. The house responds in its form to the views, particularly with the master bedroom: ‘We worked very hard with our engineers to achieve the aggressive cantilever of the master bedroom suite which hovers over the external entertainment and pool area in order to capitalize on the views. From the living room, this is experienced as the planked concrete soffit stretches out towards the horizon,’ says Benatar, principal architect.

Three14 Architects square up in Cape Town with a mountainside house

(Image credit: Adam Letch)

The architects designed the home to be open to the striking ocean views

The house is a contemporary contrast to the neighbouring architecture. From the street view, a double-layer of laser cut perforated aluminium sheeting, suspended over an entry forecourt below, can be seen, lightly shielding the house.

‘Locally, punched aluminium screening is not an unusual material, especially in the commercial realm, but is far less prevalent in the residential arena,’ says Fisher of the material, which acts as a smooth and speckled shell, protecting the serene environment within. ‘On the screen one can see the pixelated form of a tree, which was specifically selected, and held meaning to our client. This screened façade offers privacy from the street whilst allowing interesting light penetration over different times of day and glimpses out towards the mountain from the internal spaces behind.’

House OVD525 outside view

House OVD525 designed by Three14 architects is located in Bantry Bay, Cape Town.

(Image credit: Adam Letch)

House OVD525 side view

A protective screen of a double-layer of laser cut perforated aluminium sheeting encases the home at street level like a shell

(Image credit: Adam Letch)

The house sits on a steep mountainside looking out across views of Cape Town

The house sits on a steep mountainside looking out across views of Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard and Robben Island

(Image credit: Adam Letch)

The house is built of vertical massy, exposed off shutter concrete walls and horizontal concrete slabs

The house is built of vertical massy, exposed off shutter concrete walls and horizontal concrete slabs

(Image credit: Adam Letch)

House OVD525 staircase view

The home is defined by open-plan spaces which are designed for entertaining

(Image credit: Adam Letch)

House OVD525 inside view

The client required a home that was a 'peaceful backdrop' to his lifestyle

(Image credit: Adam Letch)

Exposed concrete inside provides a textural design fetaure for the home

Exposed concrete inside provides a textural design fetaure for the home

(Image credit: Adam Letch)

Outdoor decking is sheltered by the cantilever of the master bedroom above

Outdoor decking is sheltered by the cantilever of the master bedroom above

(Image credit: Adam Letch)

The interior concrete has been designed with features such as storage and a fireplace

The interior concrete has been designed with features such as storage and a fireplace

(Image credit: Adam Letch)

house OVD525 bathroom view

‘The house is conceived, detailed and finished in an understated and unadorned manner, creating calm, flowing spaces that are easy to live in,’ says Kim Benatar, principal architect at Three14

(Image credit: Adam Letch)

The design of the upstairs bathrooms continues the restrained and calm aesthetic

The design of the upstairs bathrooms continues the restrained and calm aesthetic

(Image credit: Adam Letch)

Horizontal slabs extend to contain the decking and swimming pool

Horizontal slabs extend to contain the decking and swimming pool

(Image credit: Adam Letch)

At dusk, the house can be lit to show the patterned perforations of the aluminium screen

At dusk, the house can be lit to show the patterned perforations of the aluminium screen

(Image credit: Adam Letch)

INFORMATION

For more information, visit the Three14 Architects website (opens in new tab)

Harriet Thorpe is a writer, journalist and editor covering architecture, design and culture, with particular interest in sustainability, 20th-century architecture and community. After studying History of Art at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and Journalism at City University in London, she developed her interest in architecture working at Wallpaper* magazine and today contributes to Wallpaper*, The World of Interiors and Icon magazine, amongst other titles. She is author of The Sustainable City (2022, Hoxton Mini Press), a book about sustainable architecture in London, and the Modern Cambridge Map (2023, Blue Crow Media), a map of 20th-century architecture in Cambridge, the city where she grew up.