Pearl Bay Residence by Gavin Maddock Design Studio

Pearl Bay Residence by Gavin Maddock Design Studio

Architects: Gavin Maddock Design Studio
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Area: 6,458 sqft
Photo courtesy: Adam Letch

This pristine contemporary home is located on the west coast 90kms (56ft) north of Cape Town – bordered by a nature reserve and adjoining the ocean, Gavin Maddock describes it as ‘a glorious site’.


The brief called for a ‘modern’ house with ocean views including standard accommodation requirements within a budget.


With the front dune sitting higher than the rest of the site, the challenge was to reconcile house, dune and views. The result is a rectangular double storey structure of 600 square metres (6,458 square feet) comprising three bedrooms, four bathrooms, generous living and dining areas, a gallery, casual living room, a study, decks and balconies: Ocean views exist from virtually every room.


Cavity brick construction was used throughout with all walls plastered. The building had to be grounded – it could not float – therefore it needed to be vertical, not horizontal. ‘Both front and rear pavilions are two storeys with windows sliced through to the parapet. The two pavilions are joined by the gallery, a single storey element, providing a seamless flow between these spaces. The floor slabs are off-form concrete, contrasting with the painted plaster of the walls.


Furniture items were chosen for their scale and simplicity; bold pieces that hold the spaces together. The TV and audio equipment was concealed in the living room wall cabinet, behind the large steel framed sliding panel that accommodates a substantial artwork. A custom designed fireplace was recessed into a stainless steel ledge.

To maximise the size of the main en-suite, a custom-shower was created and glass for the internal walls was used. All bedroom floors are finished in wide-board oak flooring. Granite tiles were selected for their texture and grain, resonating with rocks in the distance.


Reducing the structure to its minimum to maximise views, there are no ‘framed views’. The canvas had to be as large as possible stretching the opening to the maximum of 14 metres (45.9 feet) addressing the ocean. Ceiling heights of 3,3 metres (10.8 feet) ensures the lightness of the space. The living areas flow seamlessly, creating a feel of the outside deck to be inside. Full height sliding doors retract into the structure to form a singular space here.


The result is an individual statement of appealing symmetry, a modern home with large entertainment areas and all the mod cons.

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