Home Tour: A Beautiful Pink Apartment In Cape Town
Happily for Dawid Augustyn, the chance to set up home in Clarens, one of Cape Town’s coolest new apartment blocks, happened almost effortlessly.
“I worked with the developers—Malcolm Kluk and Christiaan Gabriël du Toit of KLûK CGDT—as the project’s quantity surveyor, so I’d been watching its journey from an insider’s perspective from the ground up,” shares the homeowner, who is the managing director of the DA Quantity Surveyors. “Their vision of a community lifestyle, based on a non-standard approach to the look and feel of the building and interiors, resonated well with me,” he shares.
The building facade, designed by Hours Clear Architects for KLûK CGDT, is an open-brickwork screen in a custom-made pink pigmented concrete. When lit internally, this creates a glowing, lantern-like effect. “We were insistent that in the future, planting would become a part of the architecture of the building,” says designer and developer Christiaan Gabriel du Toit. “We want plants to cascade and be present on all levels to soften the hard elements and make nature form part of the units. We also hope the building will add to the architectural richness of Cape Town, almost like a gallery or museum.”
At street level, the four-storey building’s blush-pink, brick-screen facade and sculptural entrance are eye candy for Fresnaye, a toney neighbourhood on the Atlantic Seaboard slopes of Table Mountain and a minute’s walk from the Sea Point promenade. There is a lot going for the locale, and many of its elegant avenues are now fringed with new-build, off-plan boxy grey blocks that reinforce a generic real-estate trope.
“I appreciated that architecturally, Clarens had character, and was carefully considered and curated; plus the interior spaces had three compelling aspects that worked for how I enjoy living,” says Augustyn. “The strategic connection to the outdoors and nature was important. Then the spaces, which although very crafted, never feel heavy or energy-sapping because they have a sense of openness, filled with natural light and charming to inhabit. And, as a designer, I bonded big time with the colour palette of the interior.”
The strategic connection to the outdoors and nature was important... And, as a designer, I bonded big time with the colour palette of the interior
As he suggests, the interior colour scheme is unusual but beautifully muted, and easy to work with. A feature wall in millennial pink is set off by other finishes in smoky grey, charcoal, stone, caramel and maize shades, plus a lot of earthy and cocooning tones. “It’s a very grounding ambience,” he says.
Augustyn selected a variety of furniture from international and South African designers that are “easy to be around”, and that they certainly are, but that’s the trick; they are easy to be around by design. As you enter the 1,765sqft duplex apartment, the dining table in the living room grabs your attention, with curved metal legs that echo the sculptural motifs found in the interior architecture. The table’s terrazzo top mirrors the stone-paved floors of the building’s lobby and outdoor courtyards. Further into the room is a chair with mid-century lines and in a modern iteration in a dandy green lacquered wood and canvas, making it the perfect transitional piece between indoors and out.
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Upstairs, the main bedroom, which has views of Lion’s Head mountain and the ocean beyond, has been mindfully appointed to avoid bulky forms on the floor. There are no chunky bedside cabinets or clunky bed bases here. A four-poster bed anchors the space: a bedside table acts almost like a drinks trolley with shelves that change width to accommodate what you need close by, while the other cleverly combines a standing lamp and small table.
Indeed, cohesive examples of witty flexibility are numerous in all the rooms and contribute to an emotive comfort that comes with spaces that are planned well, not just on paper, but in their real-life, practical applications, which feel contemporary, relevant and expressive.
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“How we live now, is very adaptive,’’ he muses. “We’re a generation of nomads and can detach quickly from a setting or situation."
I like the idea that a chair can be around a dining table one day, and at your desk or even outside on the terrace the next. It’s great that you can take these designs to your next home and use them in a different way. I think that’s the modern way to live now; well, certainly for me.
True to his words, the nomadic owner’s next personal property projects—a house in Cape Town and a small villa in Italy—are already in the works.
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