Compared to the generic boxy grey new builds that have popped up in Fresnaye – a trendy neighbourhood beneath the shadow of Cape Town’s Table Mountain and just above Sea Point promenade – the Clarens building is a blush-pink breath of fresh air.
For Dawid Augustyn, who worked with developers Malcolm Kluk and Christiaan Gabriël du Toit of KLûK CGDT and Hours Clear Architects as the project’s quantity surveyor, it was the block’s uniqueness that convinced him to call it home.
‘I appreciated that, architecturally, it had real character, but there were three other compelling aspects that spoke to how I enjoy living,’ explains Dawid. ‘The connection to the outdoors and nature was important. Then there were the rooms, which have an openness and abundance of natural light that means they never feel energy-sapping.
Lastly, as a designer, I bonded big time with the colour palette.’ A feature wall of millennial pink is offset in each apartment by touches of charcoal, stone and caramel, plus nude, buff and cocooning tones. ‘It’s a very grounding ambience.’
As well as being expert in building consultancy, Establishment, the company Dawid founded 15 years ago, is also an interior design studio, representing a roster of leading brands from DCW Éditions to the likes of Woud and New Works. Every piece he champions, including his own range of furniture, ties into his love of multifunctional, hardworking design.
‘How we live now,’ he muses, ‘is very adaptive. We’re a generation of natural nomads. I like the idea that a chair can be around a dining table one day and at your desk or even outside on the terrace the next.’ All the designs for his own compact apartment were chosen with exactly this idea in mind. They are, he says, ‘easy to be around’.
As you enter the duplex, the Miniforms dining table is the main focal point of the open-plan living area, with its curved metal legs echoing the sculptural motifs of the architecture. Its terrazzo top is similarly inspired, resembling the crazy-paving floors of the lobby and courtyards.
Upstairs, the bedroom has been mindfully appointed to avoid blocking the view over the pool, garden and rooftops to the ocean beyond. The four-poster lightly anchors the space, while an ingenious bedside table by Woud offers shelves that can be adjusted to accommodate what you need.
Witty and flexible designs like these contribute to the kind of comfort that comes from living in a space that works, not just on paper, but every day. A home that is contemporary, relevant and expressive. establishment.co.za; klukcgdt.com; hoursclear.com
This article first appeared in ELLE Decoration March 2021
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