Posted in Realestate Magazine
Grand Designs on Houghton
Tim Kloeck’s penthouse apartment in The Houghton is the ultimate vantage point from which to drink in Joburg’s dichotomous beauty.
With panoramic views of the golf course and the Sandton skyline out front, and, to its rear, Linksfield Ridge garlanded in a swathe of purple jacaranda.
Part of the rejuvination of one of Johannesburg’s oldest (and most distinguished) suburbs,the block in which this penthouse apartment resides is the last word in perfectly packaged luxury.
Ultimate Apartment Living in Joburg
‘Johannesburg is a working city and I wanted a low-maintenance, secure home where I could still relax and entertain,’ says Tim of his three-bedroom home that occupies two levels of the apartment block and is accessed directly from his private basement garage via a private elevator. As its development manager, Kloeck may be accused of having a certain bias towards this landmark development. But a quick glance around his 740m2 unit, with its personal spa, sauna, outside shower and front roof terrace with Jacuzzi, heated pool, vertical garden and breakfast bar instantly quashes any such suspicions. In fact, the back terrace with its boma-style fire pit and dining area complete with pizza oven and teppenyaki bar, made all the more enticing by Joburg’s near-perfect climate, is enough to rouse a flimsily veiled predilection for life’s finer things.
A vertical garden provides greenery in a secluded corner of the roof terrace with
its sculptural Eames chair and Jacuzzi
LEFT: A row of Mobelli outdoor loungers on the front deck perches behind the clear railing that ensures an unobstructed view of the golf course below
‘A mansion in the sky’
Pellerade Architecture was the first to be approached to design a world-class penthouse here with an entirely blank canvas on three levels. Successfully completed, they created a veritable mansion in the sky. Kloeck, who started out as The Houghton’s quantity surveyor and ended up project managing the entire development, has never feared using orthodox materials in surprising ways. ‘It is possible for such places to be sterile and impersonal,’ he admits. ‘I was very careful to avoid that.’ He points out that, while each apartment comes with standard finishes, buyers have the option of purchasing a ‘white- box unit’, which they can fit and furnish to their hearts’ content. Those, however, who are daunted by the idea of an entirely blank canvas, have at their disposal the design genius of acclaimed professionals like Lynne Bloomberg, David Muirhead, Stephen Falcke and others. David believes this estate offers residents ‘a lifestyle like no other’, and affectionately refers to the apartments as ‘houses in the sky’ where you are mesmerised by the view overlooking a forest.
Natural Elements Abound
For the interior of his own urban nest, Kloeck took his cue from the building’s façade, which is partially clad in locally quarried stone. Inspired by similar earth-rooted materials, he chose a palette of neutrals enlivened by the textural nuances of natural timber: with the assistance of interior architects Head Interiors, he dressed focus walls in wood cladding and erected wooden beams to create an artificial ceiling in the living room.
Configured to utilise every centimetre of space, the apartment employs savvy space- defining tricks (a case in point is his quirky freestanding wine cellar), as well as clever camouflaging techniques (like a hidden scullery and refrigeration area), while all doors, even those on the kitchen cabinets, have been engineered to slide rather than swing, saving space and lending a slick modern edge at the same time.
Crisp white louvres and sandblasted glass sliding doors enclose the luxurious en suite bathroom fitted with a bath from Victoria & Albert. The white leather Startup chair from Comfort Creations is perched upon a Paco carpet.
Comfort A Priority
When it came to furnishings, Kloeck admits to being, at heart, a simple farm boy from Nelspruit who craves the all-encompassing embrace of deep-seated chairs dressed in low-maintenance fabrics and boasting easy-to-clean surfaces. Pellerade Interiors was recruited to complete the interior furnishings with unpretentious couches, comfortable dining chairs and generously sized tables, all made from ‘honest’ materials in natural hues. Clearly passionate about every detail of his living space, Kloeck says he personally chose the massive piece of solid cream stone, polished to emphasise its inherent flecks of gold, caramel and brown, for his bar counter.
As an opulent departure from the down- to-earth public spaces, the ‘Hollywood-style’ bedrooms boast either plush cream carpets or solid engineered-wood floors. ‘I wanted them to be more homely, but styled as three differently themed hotel suites,’ explains Tim. Cocooned within the bedrooms behind sliding doors, the bathrooms feature textured slate-grey tiles and top-drawer sanitaryware by the likes of Duravit, Hansgrohe and Philippe Starck.
‘If you want the best quality, choose Italian materials with German equipment,’ advises Tim, who did just that in the kitchen where Siematic, Miele, Gaggenau and Siemens rub companionable shoulders. Lighting, too, is key creating the right ambience, he insists, pointing out a series of quirky-glam Tom Dixon ceiling lights he was unable to resist.
The glassed wine cellar floats effortlessly and allows clever visuals of the oversized Dean Kelly painting.
Latest Technology Enables Optimum Efficiency
Technology and energy efficiency marry seamlessly in Kloeck’s apartment, which is fully automated, from the sound system, TV and WiFi right down to the very last light bulb. Central water heaters in place of individual geysers and double-glazed windows ensure the efficient temperature control of the whole building. Then there is the added boon of an in-house concierge, butler and laundry services, and an online shopping facility, plus the block is pet friendly and offers off-site apartments for domestic staff. In a sense, The Houghton combines a sense of community with the innate need for privacy, says Tim: the conveniences of a hotel, in other words, with the pleasure of one’s home comforts.
Text: Andrea Vinassa
Production: Leana Clunies-Ross
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