By Karien Slabbert, Project Consultant Lorna Ioakim, Property Coordinator Chantel Spence, Photography Bronwyn Greeff, Lindy-Ann Cunha and Sonia Leithgob

Life’s most endearing pleasures can often be narrowed down to a handful of sensory luxuries, such as sweeping vistas on your doorstep. Add a visual alchemy of clean-lined design, and you have a symbiotic interplay of nature and a comfy lifestyle.

This modern home at the foothills of the Magaliesberg was built on a property that boasts views of the mountains. Although it is surrounded by homes to the back and one side, the family residence was designed to produce a cocooning effect, with the view as the main event.

“The north-facing site sloped steeply, and large rocky outcrops provided quite a challenge for the footing of the house,” says the architect. On the upside, it provided an opportunity to create multi-split-level spaces in which the family could relax and spend time together.

The open-plan home was designed for entertaining and extended family visits, while ensuring privacy. The U-shaped footprint maximises the courtyard space in heart of the home. “It creates a sense of privacy and makes the most of the view,” says the owner.

The clever design also screens the entertaining areas from the elements, and provides afternoon shade. Astutely modern architectural elements and layers have tactile, organic detailing, which offers a calm, unobtrusive counterpoint to the natural surrounds. The west-facing double-volume entrance screens the rest of the house from the harsh afternoon sun, and provides a view of the brutalist, sculptural staircase.

The entrance extends onto the north-facing open-plan living-cum-dining and entertaining spaces. “It also frames the view of the infinity pool and split-level courtyard garden areas,” adds the owner. The rectilinear-shaped home was constructed from load-bearing brickwork, exposed concrete slabs and mono-pitch sheet-metal roofing. Explains the architect: “The set-back, fully glazed northern facades create the illusion that the bedrooms on the first floor are floating overhead.”

Soft, warm textures were chosen to enhance the building’s natural character, while simultaneously adding touches of sophisticated detail. Grey Cemcrete passageways and stairs, rope balustrades, off-shutter concrete ceilings, timber pallet wall features, external timber decks, screens and steel-rope pergolas give the home a high-end, contemporary edge.

Maintenance and the use of eco-friendly products were key design considerations. Recycled pallet timber was used for the interiors, while timber-stained fibre cement was applied to screen the western facade. “Frameless glass exterior balustrades and delicate brushed stainless steel handrails add a sleek contrast to the off-shutter concrete, fibre cement and recycled timber, and ensure unobstructed views from inside the home,” the architect notes.

“The home’s neutral palette allows the surrounding view to enjoy centre stage,” the owner adds.

On the first floor, cantilevered balconies provide screening to the glazed facade below, and cover the entertainment patio. “As the views are of paramount importance, the first-floor bedrooms also have large full-width and corner windows opening onto the mountain range.”