Artful Abode


Crafting a Canvas for African Collections

A Cape Town dream pied-à-terre if there ever was one, Parama is nestled near the V&A Waterfront’s Silo Precinct. The home began as a blank canvas for the owner’s burgeoning collection of South African and African art – a dream opportunity for design studios ARRCC and OKHA. Anchored by the iconic Zeitz MOCAA, the precinct exudes artistic and architectural significance, a combination that shapes the character of the district and subsequently this artful abode.

Contextual design inspiration: Marinas and mountains

Noteworthy cultural and geographical landmarks, including marina views and the imposing Devil’s Peak (part of Table Mountain), influenced ARRCC and OKHA’s approach to the interiors. These contextual prompts played a pivotal role in shaping the design narrative.

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Minimalism redefined: A unified inner shell

In response to the client’s strictly minimalistic brief, ARRCC opted for a unified inner shell rather than separate rooms. Integrated cabinetry conceals storage, presenting sleek, uncluttered surfaces throughout the apartment. This design choice allowed for variations in scale and volume, subtly defining distinct areas within the larger open-plan space.

Sculpting spaces: Kitchen, dining, and lounge

Clearly defined volumes, such as the champagne aluminium-clad kitchen, seamlessly integrate into the larger white interior. Similar approaches extend to dining and lounge areas, with distinct materials maintaining a monolithic appearance. Transitional spaces act as aesthetic ‘palate cleansers,’ employing variations in materials, texture, and pattern.

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Implied connectivity: Running lines in design

In the pursuit of a thematic motif within minimalism, ARRCC introduced running lines into joinery and lighting design. These lines, stopping short of connecting, create a sense of implied connectivity between spaces and elements of the interior architecture.

Metaphorical illumination: Custom light fittings

The custom-designed light fitting in the living area serves as a metaphor for the overall design approach. High-tech industrial detailing contrasts with natural, organic walnut blocks, adding a layer of sensory and emotional richness without compromising refined functionality.

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Sculptural furnishings: Form and function

While the interior architecture carves into space, the furnishings focus on creating sculptural forms. Custom pieces, like the monolithic limestone coffee table, anchor and articulate the spatial experience. Warmth in elemental materiality and detailing adds sensory richness without detracting from minimalism’s clean, calm character.

Serenity in simplicity: Limited material palette

Maintaining serenity through a deceptively simple material palette, the apartment reveals its satisfying depth over time. From ribbed marble finishes to chamfered edges, a sensory layering complements the clean, minimalistic aesthetic.

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Symbolic detailing: Bespoke cabinets and artful minimalism

The bespoke drinks cabinet, akin to the feature light fitting, symbolises the apartment’s design philosophy. Asymmetrical doors juxtapose minimalist mirrored surfaces with heavily hand-worked, pitted, and patinated metal. This complexity enhances the nature of minimalism, revealing its intricacy through interaction.

Gallery-like ambiance: Balancing expression and comfort

The restrained design creates a gallery-like quality, allowing art to express itself fully while maintaining comfort and livability. Although the apartment appears as a self-contained unit, it remains open to its context, embracing the sparkling lights of the marina and the broader artistic identity of the precinct.

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