Clerestory Windows Meets Cinematic Views: Home Tour |
Clerestory Windows Ensure Table Mountain Home Gets the Lion’s Share of Views

Clerestory Windows Ensure Table Mountain Home Gets the Lion’s Share of Views

Another view-tastic gem from SAOTA

Written by –
Jess Ng
on December 3rd 2018
Born and raised in the UK, Jess is NONAGON’s resident historian turned marketer turned writer, drawn to Hong Kong by the lure of dim sum breakfasts and bustling city life. A foodie who loves to cook, food occupies 70% of her brain 90% of the time. When not eating, Jess can typically be found buried in a book or obsessing over making NONAGON’s Instagram #feedgoals.

Kloof 119A




If you’re lucky enough to live in a location where views on views are the order of the day, I’m of the mind that it’d be downright rude not to make the most of them. It’s a relief then to see that the Kloof 119A home was especially designed to make the most of its picturesque mountain and city vista, thanks to its inverted pyramid roof and clerestory windows. South African design firm, SAOTA, have done a fantastic job transforming an old 50s dwelling into a beautiful minimalist-contemporary family home. Let’s take a closer look.

Modern Family Home with Clerestory Windows: Outdoor swimming pool with picturesque mountain views |

A Home With a View

Whether you’re wild about nature or more of a city slicker, this modern family home has something for everyone thanks to its enviable location. Positioned directly below Lion’s Head, Kloof 119A boasts views of Table Mountain, the city of Cape Town and winelands in the distance – and the architecture is shaped to take in as much of these surroundings as possible.

Exterior facade of a modern family home with inverted pyramid roof and clerestory windows |

“The brief was to create a house that made the most of the mountain site that surrounds the house while obscuring the busy street and the surrounding houses from view.”

Outdoor exterior shot of a modern contemporary family home with inverted pyramid roof and clerestory windows |

Clerestory Windows

An inverted pyramid roof, which forms clerestory windows around the upper level, allows the building to open up, capturing views of Table Mountain and Lion’s Head that would otherwise have been lost. It’s magical to be able to look up and track the movement of the sun and moon across the sky. Overall, this architectural feature serves to heighten the connection to nature and its cycles.

Exterior entrance of a modern contemporary family home with inverted pyramid roof and clerestory windows |

At night, the inverted pyramid roof glows, adding to the intrigue of any curious passers-by along the busy city street. Nevertheless, thanks to its traditional stone wall facade, the home’s interior remains private.

Modern Family Home with Clerestory Windows: Picturesque outdoor swimming pool area with city and mountain views |

Slippery Slope

As the site is set on the slope of a mountain, the team at SAOTA took care to carefully integrate the gradient into their design. Although the slope complicated the architecture initially, it ultimately presented many opportunities to articulate the space using level changes.

Open plan contemporary living room with clerestory windows and cinematic city view |

The house is arranged on three levels. The top level, which boasts the strongest views, holds most of the living spaces. Here, an open-plan kitchen, dining room and lounge dominates the layout. The family’s bedrooms are on the mid-level, while the garage, gym, cinema and guest room occupy the lowest floor.

Modern contemporary living room with indoor outdoor living aesthetic and clerestory windows |

“The house responds very well to the seasons. The upstairs space is a wonderful summer space, whilst the downstairs library is warm and cozy in winter.”

Bright wood panel kitchen with clerestory windows |

Connected to Nature

The decor, curated by OKHA, is simple yet sophisticated. All the better for allowing those cinematic views to have their Hollywood moment. Walls made of floor-to-ceiling glass windows carry on the connection to nature theme. This home is easily one of the most impressive examples of indoor-outdoor living I’ve seen in a long time.

Cozy family lounge with open access to garden |

Each level has its own set of gardens and courtyards.  Design-wise, these gardens extend into the view. In doing so, it creates the impression that the building is tucked deep into the mountain landscape.

Green courtyard of a modern family home with clerestory windows |

As well as adding aesthetic beauty to the home, these leveled gardens work to screen the neighboring buildings. They also help to ensure that light and air flood those interior spaces which otherwise would be dark and isolated.

Open plan living space of a modern contemporary family home with beautiful wood panel details and clerestory windows |

Out of the Woods

In keeping with the nature theme, it’s no surprise to see that wood in all forms reigns supreme. From wood panel walls to wood panel ceilings, and of course, the wood countertops, the washed oak hues infuse this home with visual warmth. A mix of concrete and marble ensures that Kloof 119A never strays into ‘cabin in the woods’ territory, introducing depth and texture to the overall aesthetic.

Contemporary en-suite bathroom with wood and marble design details |

“The dark exterior breaks down the mass of the building, pushing it into the background. Internally, colors are muted and the use of a washed oak gives the spaces warmth.”

Sleek minimalist entrance of a modern contemporary family home |

Final Thoughts

With mountain views and urban vistas, Kloof 119A truly has it all. My favorite feature of this family home though has to be those clerestory windows, which take the concept of indoor-outdoor living to new heights. The amount of light they bring in during the day is simply dreamy; and when night falls, I can only imagine how magical it is to lounge under the stars. All in all, this home is an ode to nature through and through, just like SAOTA intended.

What do you think of using clerestory windows in your home?


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