Top Billing features a creative masterpiece of a home in Hout Bay
Sprung from the creativity of a film-making couple, we feature a legendary Hout Bay home that took 25 years to build.
If you’ve tried slow-cooking, you’ll know it’s worth the wait and we feel the same about this house. For twenty five years, almost as long as we’ve been on air, we’ve watched it take shape and finally – this week - we get to bring you the finished article.
This could be a scene from King’s Landing in Game of Thrones or Hogwarts School of Wizardry in Harry Potter. Which has much to do with its owners being in the film industry. Most details are hand-made with a sense of having been grown rather than built and Luke Atkinson has been central to achieving that.
From the rain-forest of an entrance, the interiors continue with white sandstone walls and great tree trunks worked into the architecture. It’s another filmic setting.
The koi, framed by windows, are living art works while every piece of wood comes with its own story of where and how it was discovered, reclaimed and luxuriously repurposed.
Much of the timber was reclaimed from the V&A Waterfront while alien blue-gum trees have proven extremely useful.
Unlike more formula-based architecture, this design manages to fit five reception rooms, five bedrooms and nine bathrooms into the house - without ever being predictable. It is more a fantasy novel of a house where each space unfolds like a twist in the plot. Richard Hardie has worked with many one-of-a-kind, South African homes and is yet to find one as original.
The sandstone throughout the bedrooms and passages ensures that even the straight lines you do find in this house, manage to feel natural. This extends to bathrooms where the basins are giant, ocean clam shells. With the indigenous garden practically part of the house, there is only one room which bucks the organic trend.
This bathroom introduces the colour and natural form of art nouveau design with the rich inlay of Mediterranean mosaics. Large stones lend the feel of a riverbed to this wet- room while the brass and wood basins and counter bring warmth. Turn another corner and you could be in the cellar of a chateau.
The house feels part of every seasonal change because it so closely woven into the garden. After two hundred invasive blue gums were removed, the owners planted a hundred and thirty indigenous trees then called on the talents of landscape designer Winston Coe.
The house has been through almost a quarter century of trial and error as each space has evolved to answer a different part of the owners’ lifestyle. As designers would say ‘form has followed function’.
This house is such a spark to the imagination. Step inside and you feel you have one foot in reality and another in fantasy. A realm in which creative people love to live.
Want to make this your dream home?
See the listing on Knight Frank www.kfproperty.co.za
Photographs by Knight Frank and Dook Photography