An Inverted Pyramid Roof Tops This Stately Retreat in Cape Town

An Inverted Pyramid Roof Tops This Stately Retreat in Cape Town

By Michele Koh Morollo
Clerestory windows and gardens on every level help this architect’s home feel integrated with its spectacular, mountain setting.

Home to Greg Truen, director of South African architecture and design firm SAOTA, Kloof 119A is a 9,150-square-foot residence in Cape Town that takes advantage of mountain and city views while de-emphasizing the street and neighboring homes.

The inverted pyramid roof of Kloof 119A glows at night, creating a giant light box effect.

Building on a steeply sloping site was a challenge, but it also provided Truen and the SAOTA team with many opportunities to use level changes to articulate the space. Wanting his new home to harmonize with its mountain site while maintaining privacy, as it sits near a prominent road, Truen incorporated a street-facing, stone facade built in the traditional Cape Town style. The wall keeps the house hidden from viewed from the road.

A swinging entrance door makes a bold first impression.

Each level opens up to green space, creating a breezy, indoor/outdoor connection. Furniture by OKHA—the Hunt Sofa, the Nate, Nicci Nouveau, and Vince and Miles Armchairs—outfit the living spaces.

Distinctively, the roof of the house takes the form of an inverted pyramid with clerestory windows that capture the peaks of Lion’s Head and Table Mountain. These windows draw in the sky, sun, and moonlight, enabling natural light to shift and complement the cyclical rhythms of the seasons, and the days and nights.

Internally, colors are muted, and the use of a washed oak gives the spaces warmth.

Walking through a large metal entry door located between the house and the stone wall, one arrives at an entrance lobby that’s connected to a courtyard garden. 

The dark exterior breaks down the mass of the building, pushing it into the background. 

The spaces are simple, and zones are articulated by level changes in the floor and ceilings. 

From this peaceful garden, a short flight of steps leads up to the main living space, which presents a breathtaking panorama of the city below.

The To Be One and Lean On Me floor lamps in the lounge area are by OKHA.

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Knoll Womb Chair and Ottoman
When Florence Knoll challenged Eero Saarinen to create a chair that she could curl up in, she found the right candidate for the task. The Womb Chair and Ottoman (1946) feature enveloping forms that continue as one of the most iconic representations of midcentury organic modernism.
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The Dang Media Stand by Blu Dot features a perforated steel door front which allows use of remotes without spoiling the view. The interior of the Dang Media Stand has a fixed vertical divider in the center with a fixed horizontal shelf on both sides to create four interior storage spaces.

The topmost level of the home, spread over three tiers, enjoys the best views and is where most of the main living areas—the open-plan kitchen, dining room, and lounge—are located. 

The Planalto Dining Table by Alessandra Delgado creates a focal point adjacent to the second-floor courtyard, which is used as a working/personal space. 

Kitchen joinery was done by Roma Casa Kitchens. Clerestory windows allow mountain views and light to drench the space.

The infinity pool seems to stretch into lush views.

Urban landscapes abut natural ones.

The middle level contains the family’s sleeping and work spaces, while the garage,  gym, cinema, and guest room are located on the lower level. 

Libra flooring outfits the library.

Exquisite Bathrooms supplied the sanitary ware and chromeware.

"Each level has its own set of gardens and courtyards," says Truen. "These gardens extend from the mountain surface down against the house, screening the neighboring buildings and intensifying the relationship with nature; allowing light and air into spaces that would otherwise be dark and isolated."

There are gardens on every level, contextualizing the home within its mountain landscape.

Glassman Westcoast glazing and aluminum windows help orchestrate the indoor/outdoor connection.

Franchesca Watson Garden Design spearheaded the landscape design.

OKHA furniture used throughout imbues the interior spaces with a level of sophistication that complements the house’s dramatic setting.

The sophisticated spaces were furnished using OKHA furniture. 

Related Reading: 7 Peaked Structures With Pyramid-Inspired Roofs

Project Credits: 

Architecture: SAOTA  / @_saota

Interior Decor: OKHA 

Builder: Gossow & Harding Construction Pty (Ltd) 

Structural Engineering: Moroff & Kuhne Consulting Engineers 

Landscape Design: Franchesca Watson Garden Desig


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