The idea of achieving a golden mean between the elements of classic design and contemporary decorating is, for many, an architectural golden fleece. Yet, after the Homeric seven-year development of an inhospitable beachfront site into a modernist masterpiece, it appears that some legends do come true.
‘From the start we knew that we didn’t want a typical beach house,’ say the owners. ‘That would have been too obvious. We wanted it to be something controversial.’ The land in question was a craggy protrusion of granite with a fynbos stubble and an austere disposition. It would take two years of Wile E Coyote-like levels of tenacity and dynamite, setting off controlled explosions to blast 14 metres into the solid rock face, to create space for the proposed structure. Architect Keith Mason’s mandate was clear: create a chic city residence metres from the ocean.