This coastal concrete retreat is a masterclass in African modernist design
Embedded within the scenic backdrop of the South African coast is a rural retreat that has undergone quite a design refit. Part of a small beachfront community, La Belle Vue is the fruit of a creative collaboration between a duo of Cape Town practices, interior design group OKHA and Bomax Architects. The house, which belongs to a native international executive, was revitalised to ‘provide a place of sanctuary and repose’, states OKHA, from the owner’s busy working life.
The two firms worked closely to realise a new harmonious lease of life for the concrete construct. The project began with an exterior overhaul by Bomax Architects, who created new outdoor spaces by connecting each of the three levels with the exterior facade. Now increasingly open to the elements, the house breathes in the sea air and invites in natural light, forging a multi-sensory connection with the surrounding landscape.
The lounge features a polished copper mirror by a local South African artisan, and an oak and carrara marble side table and natural oak ‘Miles’ armchair, both by OKHA
This intrinsic link with location is tangibly echoed inside. Ceramics and sculptures by local South African artisans combine with an array of bespoke furniture pieces by OKHA to reflect the client’s African heritage.
The open-plan ground floor employs a monochrome palette, and furnishings include a custom console etched with graphics influenced by African tribal geometrics and scarification in the dining room. Meanwhile in living room, the custom sofa and ottoman work well with the minimalist architecture.
Ceramics and sculptures by South African artisans are found throughout
Upstairs, the first-floor entertainment level takes a retro spin with rich African earth-inspired tones, geometry and curves courtesy of Tom Dixon pendant lights and orange ‘Togo’ chairs by Ligne Roset. The master bedroom follows suit, continuing the bespoke theme with a custom-designed American oak bed, rug and ottoman.
Alive with a mix of African heritage and contemporary design, La Belle Vue masterfully articulates African modernism – another home-grown success for the pair of South African firms. §