OKHA rigorously pared back the detail and dialled down the colours of the interior to create a refined minimalist setting. “There is so much visual information from the setting and the view,” says OKHA’s Adam Court. “We didn’t want to compete or challenge it, but rather create a space that sits well with it.”
In many respects, the minimalist approach that interior design studio OKHA took in this Cape Town home has to do with its views over Green Point and Sea Point. From its elevated position, overlooking the bustle of the city, OKHA’s Adam Court discerned a duality at the heart of the home’s character. “You’re overlooking the entire city, but you’re away from it,” he says. “There’s a connectedness but disconnectedness at the same time.
From the street, the house has a discreet, modest presence. Passers-by see little more than a slatted timber fence, which gives no indication of the panoramic vista on the other side of the front door as you enter and descend into the living spaces. Floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding doors embrace the view over the city towards the ocean and let in abundant natural light.
The internal finishes adhere to a restricted range and have been kept consistent throughout the house. The walls are white, and pale oak has been used throughout for the floors, cabinetry and screens. Whatever colour there is comes from the natural materials. Apart from the timber, OKHA’s choice of stone, such as the leathered Spanish Nero Marquina marble around the fireplace or the waxed steel used in some of the furnishings, retains a rawness that expresses their natural materiality. “Everything has a very natural organic filter, we try not to interfere”, says Court.
Perhaps the most important animating feature of the house and the element OKHA responded to most profoundly in this project is the natural light that filters into the interiors. “When the light falls on the internal volumes, you get beautiful modelling and shaping of the internal space,” says Court.
With that in mind, OKHA has created strong sculptural forms and clever detailing that catches the light. “The play of light gives form enhanced definition and impact,” says Court. The extensive use of fluted plastering, for example, creates patterns of light and shadow, and the sculpted, geometric forms, around the fireplace allow the light to become an active agent in modelling and expressing shape. “Throughout the day,with the sun moving from one side to the other, the space gets sculpted and re-shaped continuously,” says Court. “We’re allowing the natural light to make and shape the space. ”
This movement of light and shadow creates a sense of “slow time” and a sense of calm and serenity.