A stunning contemporary country house designed for entertaining in South Africa

contemporary luxury home exterior at dusk

ARRCC and SAOTA Architects have designed the Winelands Villa, a contemporary country house located in Gentleman’s Estate at Val de Vie in the Paarl-Franschhoek Valley, a luxury smallholding concept along the banks of the Berg River in Cape Town, South Africa. This fabulous dwelling boasts views of the Drakenstein, Simonsberg, and Paarl Rock Mountains within a landscape of rehabilitated fynbos.

The estate’s aesthetic guidelines specify a contemporary interpretation of Provençal and Cape vernacular architecture, prescribing pitched roofs, exposed timber rafters, and a material palette of timber cladding, off-shutter concrete, and natural stonework offset with white plastered walls.


contemporary home exterior

Within this framework, ARRCC refined the original client brief for an H-shaped footprint to create a cruciform arrangement of five overlapping squares: one central square for the living and dining areas with an interlocking square on each corner for the bedrooms, plus one for the kitchen and utilities.

The geometry of the floorplan opens the interior to views in all directions. It also creates sheltered terraces on either side of the central living area so that at any given time, at least one would be sheltered from the prevailing winds. Floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors pocket into the walls so that, when the weather allows, the views “flow” right through the living space as if it were a pavilion.

contemporary home entry

At the same time, it creates a series of green pockets and courtyards around the house, so that it appears “stitched” into the landscape. The high, pitched ceiling creates a grand, double-volume entrance and a lofty interior space for the lounge, which, together with clerestory windows, responds to the vastness of the surrounding landscape.

contemporary home entry with pitched roofs and concealed lighting detail

Above: The double volume arrival area, featuring pitched roofs with concealed lighting detail.

contemporary hallway

Above: The arrival area flows into the main kitchen and passes the enclosed wine cellar room.

contemporary hallway

Architectural Inspiration and Style
The home has a contemporary farmhouse-inflected design, influenced by Cape vernacular architecture and rural aesthetics.

Design Firm’s Vision and Implementation
Working within the bounds of the estate’s stylistic framework, ARRCC sought to re-imagine a refined contemporary country house with ample entertainment space that would invite its natural surroundings in while “living out” to facilitate an immersive experience of the outdoors.

enclosed wine cellar room

What We Love: This spectacular country house in South Africa is the ultimate home for entertaining, with indoor-outdoor spaces and and a serene ambiance that welcomes gatherings of family and friends year-round. We love the main entertaining area with its bespoke, hand-carved rock fireplace and the floating island over the swimming pool that feels like a luxury resort but with plenty of privacy and the most breathtaking views.

Tell Us: What are your overall thoughts on the design of this South Africa country house? Let us know in the Comments below!

Note: Be sure to check out a couple of other amazing home tours that we have showcased here on One Kindesign from the portfolio of the designers of this project, ARRCC: Beyond spectacular beach house perched on a hillside in Cape Town and Luxury beachfront villa in South Africa boasts dramatic coastal vistas.

contemporary kitchen

Above: The main kitchen dually flows into the living room area and outdoor section, with 360 views of the surrounding mountains.

contemporary kitchen

contemporary living room with a bespoke, hand-carved rock fireplace

Variations in ceiling height balance the proportions with sensitivity to human scale, creating cozier, more intimate spaces within an interconnecting open-plan arrangement, resulting in a casually luxurious, flowing sense of interior space. The lounge is centered on a bespoke, hand-carved sandstone plinth for the fireplace.

contemporary dining room

Above: The central dining room, featuring bespoke OKHA Balducci Carver Dining Chairs.

contemporary living room with a pitched roof and concealed lighting

Above: The pitched roofs and concealed lighting are echoed in the lounge area. The space is complimented with OKHA’s Gloob Armchairs.

The home’s raw materiality is complemented by simple, natural materials such as timber and screed floors and raw off-shutter concrete. In other instances, ARRCC intentionally refined the aesthetic requirements. The exposed roof beams are clad in timber in a sleek, modern interpretation of rustic beams and the pitched ceiling has a dynamic, asymmetrical detail near its apex.

contemporary double-volume entertainment area with a lounge and dining area

Above: The double-volume entertainment section features a lounge and dining area. The pool is situated to the right of the image, and the garden courtyard is featured on the left side.

contemporary outdoor entertainment area with mountain views

Above: Outdoor entertainment area, accompanied by surrounding mountain views.

contemporary floating island over the swimming pool and a canopy with landscape views

Above: The relationship between the living space and entertainment terraces has a resort-like quality, with a floating island over the swimming pool, and a long, elegant canopy that folds down to provide shelter and privacy while framing views of the landscape and sky. Such extensions emphasize the horizontal lines of the architecture and balance the high central volume.

contemporary children's play pen room

Above: Children’s play pen room.

contemporary bedroom with an outdoor terrace and mountain views

Above: The main suite is accompanied by an outdoor terrace and surrounding mountain views.

contemporary bathroom with a freestanding bath and large windows framing mountain views

Above: The en suite bathroom off the master bedroom is designed to create a sense of unmediated connection with its natural setting. The symmetrical design creates a balanced interior that emphasizes the view as a focal point.

contemporary bathroom with a vanity

contemporary guest bedroom with a pitched roof

Left This secondary bedroom is accented with a pitched roof.

outdoor courtyard connected to the indoor entertainment area

Right This welcoming outdoor courtyard is an extension of the central double-volume entertainment area. It features natural rock seating and a fire pit.

contemporary luxury home exterior at dusk


One Kindesign has received this project from our submissions page. If you have a project you would like to submit, please visit our submit your work page for consideration! 

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments