One of the latest residences completed by SAOTA, award-winning architecture firm based in Cape Town, South Africa, is a St Tropez residence which is a modern interpretation of Côte d’Azur living.
Situated just above the beach of Plage de Pampelonne and a stone’s throw from Le Club 55 – the embodiment of the St Tropez lifestyle – the location called for seamless indoor-outdoor living. With the sloping site facing perfectly south, the garden side was designed to open fully to a raised living and dining area with a slanting planted embankment that leads to the pool and sun bathing terrace. A pavilion with outdoor lounge and cocktail bar, situated on the outsized lawn, further enhances the outdoor experience. A surrounding pine forest ensures privacy and provides the perfect back drop for a boule court set among the trees.
The design comprises a series of horizontal planes – the green hedge on street level, the solid street-facing front of the house, the indoor layers running from east to west, the linear terrace and sloping green embankment and swimming pool below. Throughout the house, there is an interplay of solid walls and large openings created by full height windows and sliding doors opening into pockets. The individual elements of the upper portion of the house are unified by a horizontal eyebrow linking them and framing the outdoor garden courtyard.
Approaching the front of the house, palm trees lend a tropical feeling and serve as sculptural features. The street facing side of the house presents a solid façade with travertine slabbed rectilinear panels and matching textured plaster planes as a contemporary interpretation of the characteristic St Tropez stucco finish. Thin horizontal and vertical openings admit light to specific areas without compromising privacy.
Travertine stepping stones gently rise to the double height, solid wood front door with a fluid free-form bronze handle. Upon entering the residence, a capiz shell chandelier occupies the double volume entrance hall area. Large frameless windows allow dramatic views over the pool and garden area. A few stairs lead down to the living level that includes the lounge, dining room and kitchen fitted out with Boffi cabinetry and Gaggenau appliances. Also on this level and separated from the living area by a courtyard garden with linear water feature and large olive tree, is a guest bedroom.
The client chose to design and source their own interiors and kept the color palette neutral with natural, organic materials. Timber and glass for the furniture and accents of charcoal were strategically used. Pieces by Minotti and Patricia Urquiola can be found throughout. A bespoke chandelier above the dining table adds luxury to the space. Light vein cut travertine floors contrast the black slim line sliding doors and is repeated against feature walls, providing subtle accents.
As owner of a photography gallery, the client has an extensive art collection so strategically placed gallery spaces were included in the design to allow the artwork to be visible not only from the interior but also the exterior of the house.
all images © Adam Letch