Drawing on the forested mountain site it’s enveloped by, Villa Verte is an architectural and design tour de force and an ode to its setting. Designed by Thomas Leach Architects, with interiors customised and curated by The Guild Group, it’s a 360-degree showcase of natural beauty and the inherent skills of the art and design community in South Africa.
The architecture, while dramatic, connects guests with the tranquil setting – it borders the Oudekraal Nature Reserve on the upper slopes of Hout Bay – through an open-plan scheme, expansive use of space, and cleverly framed views. A combination of organic and sharp lines, and a layered approach to materials (concrete, timber, glass and metallic cladding) give it an earthy, albeit progressive design identity. This dynamic juxtaposition of striking contemporary design and natural setting makes it unique as a retreat outside of the city.
Serving as a living gallery space of sorts – that highlights both the natural riches it’s surrounded by and the handmade beauty it houses – Villa Verte is a sanctuary where art, sculpture and architecture come together in an exciting and yet restorative space that offers guests an enriching sensory experience.
The owners, both significant names on the interiors scene in the United States, have an abiding love of design and art, and wanted their home to demonstrate this passion. Accordingly, hallways are lined with works by the likes of Rosie Mudge, John Murray and Barry Salzman, an award-winning contemporary photographer whose work ‘A Ravaged Land Healing, I-III,Karongi, Rwanda’ is beautifully positioned for quiet reflection above the stairs.
Living areas host Cameron Platter and Dorothee Kreutzfeldt’s ‘Last Resort and Cypress Stand’, both colourful and bold. Several works by Kevin McIntosh are found in the bedroom suites (we love ‘Karoo Storm’), along with Kurt Pio’s Cacti series. Sculpture by Adam Birch, Lucinda Mudge and Rodan Kane Hart add depth and dynamism. The furniture (all custom designed), lighting and decorative objets are artworks in themselves – curated by Guild as an eclectic celebration of contemporary African talent.