This year’s hottest home

2013-09-09 10:00

Architects and designers toast house of the year.

South Africa’s house of the year boasts braais on two levels, a pizza oven next to a swimming pool and sweeping views of Cape Town.

A five-bedroom mansion on the slopes of Table Mountain beat 10 other finalists to clinch top honours in a national luxury-housing competition this week.

The country’s top address in Cape Town’s Higgovale is home to structural engineer Craig Sutherland, his wife, Colleen, their teenagers, Keegan, Adrienne and Casey, and their two dogs, Stitch and Mia.

“The stoep is my favourite. It’s lovely in summer with views up to the sea,” said Colleen.

“I have loads of entertainment options, which is just great,” added Craig.

The country’s foremost architects and home designers toasted the pair’s home at a function in Cape Town on Wednesday.

The winning property was voted for by readers of House and Leisure magazine, with about 20 000 votes cast in an online poll.

Commenting on the winning house, editor Naomi Larkin said: “It is a proper family home and yet it is extremely sophisticated.”

The Sutherlands bought the property 11 years ago and had major renovations done last year.

The air at the party was thick with intrigue as one of the competition’s top contenders was the Hermanus beach house built by Herman Pretorius, the alleged pyramid scheme fraudster who shot himself and a business partner in Cape Town last June.

The controversial sea-facing Voëlklip villa was featured on the cover of House and Leisure’s “luxury issue” in August 2012, which apparently went to print before Pretorius died.

It was alleged in court papers that the sprawling three-bedroom house was built with investors’ money.

In-vogue architect Stefan Antoni, who helped to design the prime property, told City Press that he mostly dealt with Pretorius’ wife, Susan, during the building process.

“The house has a sense of peace and generous spaces filled with sunlight,” said Antoni.

Architect Richard Townsend also contributed to the home – which was auctioned for R16.5?million in April – saying it had been one of his favourite jobs. “It truly is a spectacular place,” he said.

Antoni raked in praise on Wednesday night as he also contributed to designing the winning house in Higgovale.

Other contenders included interior decorator Astrid van der Heim’s opulent apartment in Killarney, and architects Xavier and Carine Huyberechts’ art-filled home under tall trees in Houghton.

Also short-listed was a former “charmless face-brick house”, which had been given a face-lift by architect Kobus Nieuwoudt in the Garden Route town of Nature’s Valley, and a stone-clad cottage set in fynbos in Scarborough near Cape Point.

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