South Africa is home to some of the most exquisite architectural structures in the world. The country has some of the best hands in the field of structural engineering and architecture. A look around the country will reveal beautiful houses like you have never seen before. These buildings are well thought out and the plan for their exotic neighborhoods shows how painstaking everything was planned. This makes the South African real estate business one of the fanciest and stylish in the whole continent.
We have made a list of some of the best and most beautiful houses in South Africa and what makes them stand out from the others. The standards in South Africa as far as architectural designs are concerned are staggering. It has reached a level where it can compete with others around the globe. Their massive designs have made outsiders have a refreshing look at South Africa and its landscape. While it’s a basic thing for one to spot beautiful houses in lush neighborhoods and cities, it will take a very keen and conversant observer to detect the very best amongst them. Never mind, we have done the research and selected the best and most modern houses in SA out of the entire bunch.
The Finest Houses in South Africa
They are all luxury homes built painstakingly to stand out and celebrate the ingenuity of South African architects and civil engineers. Apparently, it cost a lot to build these houses in South Africa but seeing how they are celebrated today is a testament that it was worth investing in them. Below is our pick of the best most beautiful houses in South Africa.
1. OVD 919 House
- Location: Bantry Bay, Cape Town
- Builder (Architectural Firm): Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects (SAOTA)
- Owner: Undisclosed
- Best Features: Panoramic view of the sea, mountain views, and the structured use of glass
First on our list of best and most beautiful houses in South Africa is the OVD 919 House. This beautiful structure was constructed in 2004 by the Stefan Olmesdahl Architects (SAOTA). OVD 919 House was built with the view of providing luxury that any homeowner would be proud of. The aim is to have a home with a 360-degree view of the mountains and the seas. This gives you a great aesthetic view but with an added personal touch.
The site was chosen because of its location that is situated on the mountain ridge below Lions Head and overlooking Robben Island to the North, as well as Camps Bay and Twelve Apostles to the South. The massive structure stands on a 5000m2 land with about four family-sized bedrooms, three guest rooms, and a swimming pool. The owner wanted something private, therefore the surrounding plots that were up to 1000m2 were also purchased in addition to it.
The house was built up to 2-storeys above the ridge and is made up of living areas and a terrace with a pool and garden. The bedrooms were situated at the topmost of the building to meet up with the privacy agreement that SAOTA has with the owner. Some part of the house’s living space will give you an awesome view of the ocean and the beautiful landscape that surrounds it. The family rooms were made with cozy interior designs that will amaze you and offers the best of comfort that money can provide. The kitchen area was designed to be spacious with enough room where people can eat as a family and still have enough space for added kitchen furniture.
The master’s bedroom provides a great view of the surrounding landscape that shows the beauty of nature and the overlooking mountains. At the house’s mid-level, you can enter through the garage built with double graffiti walls. You can then proceed to the staircase which is wrapped around a positioned glass situated centrally. This is where you can proceed to the upper levels of the house.
The house layering gives space for varieties of experiences where spaces are concerned. Starting with the main stairs, the house is designed with a linear custom-made coffee bar that leads into the home’s kitchen. The kitchen then leads into the Dining Room which consists of the Summer Lounge that has a very high ceiling of ribbed concrete. Adjacent to the kitchen is the Winter Lounge but with a lower ceiling than the Summer Lounge.
The lower ceiling makes the view a bit framed with the fireplace and creates an intimate space where the family can stay together. The mid-level shows a nice connection between the internal and external living and you can choose any depending on your choice. The fully overgrown walls that surround the back are hard not to be noticed The house is a complete villa designed for luxury and comfort and is one structure that must be mentioned when beautiful homes in South Africa are under discussion.
2. Galilai Rotating House
- Location: Spanish Farm suburb of West Somerset
- Builder (Architectural Firm): Architect Raymond Alexander
- Owner: Harad Scheppig
- Best Features: The swiveling nature of the structure is up to about 348 degrees.
This was an ambitious design by the renowned architect Raymond Alexander and it’s a house that has the capacity to rotate up to about 348 degrees. This may seem surreal but it’s an actual design that doesn’t fail to thrill any first-time observer. The rotating action can be activated with the push of a button and the action will immediately set in. The structure is a 19,000 square foot dome mansion located in the Spanish Farm suburb of Somerset West. The villa is owned by the German businessman Harard Scheppig together with his wife.
The motivation around the house was one of curiosity and a man who has money to get his desired structure that will tick all the necessary boxes. The house was completed in 2001, two years after plans for the building started and you wouldn’t even notice that it’s that old due to the special plaster that covers the walls, preventing cracks from occurring. The developers chose to employ an artist that did justice to the edifice by providing domes with high ceilings situated with enough skylights to provide natural light into its interior.
The upper level of the building can be located through the aid of a retracted bridge. This was put in place because of the rotation of the building. The lower level can be entered through the electrical entry gate. The electrical power that activates the rotation action is powered through a 3.8 KW laser-controlled German Bauer motor gear. The engine of this gear is durable and has continued to work to date through routine maintenance and can rotate either clockwise or anticlockwise. The operation is aided by a chain and it is fastened firmly with a chain lock. The top floor of this mansion has a 49-feet diameter that is spacious enough and weighs 850 metric tons.
The house is made up of five bedrooms and they are spacious enough for family size, yet offering the kind of privacy that the owner demands. The living room is beautified and topped off with a dome with illustrations that enable it to radiate the constellations of the Northern and Southern hemispheres. This is made possible due to the glass fiber cables that are adorned around it. The house was also designed with sliding glass doors that are made up of aesthetic sculptured materials. The clear glass will enable you to have a great view of the mountains and the bay. The owner also ensured that the house was designed without a single straight wall, giving a hollow appearance when viewed from the outside.
The house was recently valued by the owner at R25 million which is over $1.8 million although he’s not in a hurry to sell. This mansion is regarded as one of the most beautiful in South Africa and deserves a mention on this list.
3. Kloof Road House
- Location: Bedfordview, Johannesburg
- Builder (Architectural Firm): Nico Van Der Meulen Architects
- Owner: Undisclosed
- Best Features: The rooms are designed with a path leading to the outdoors
This is a beautiful structure that is located in Bedfordview which lies at the foot of a nature reserve. This beautiful mansion was designed by the Nico Van Der Meulen Architects. The demand for the design was to build a family-oriented villa that will provide enough space to provide indoor and outdoor entertainment with increased views to the North. The structure provided a 1100cm2 awesome design with great aesthetic views. The target of the developers was to create enough connections between the rooms and the outdoors with enough emphasis on natural light. The house was designed in the year 2015 and became a model structure for developers to follow.
As a result, every living room in the house is found to be leading to the outdoors, with easy links to landscaped gardens. The designer Van Der Meulen made use of morphed steels to enclose all the frames using parasitic architecture. You can easily see the steel structure used for the house walls when you view this mansion from outside the structure. This credits the ingenious plan and thoughts that have gone into designing this house.
The top section of the house can be accessed through black steel sliding doors to the four garages. This combines with the steel structures creating a perfect outlook for the porte-cochere. There are strip diagonal lights located at the entrance with an aim to direct visitors into the house at night from the entrance gate.
Steel, glass, and concrete materials are some of the major materials that were used for this mansion and this is evident in the design from the exterior to the interior. The entrance door has an angled steel roof that overhangs to a double volume window with a glass door. The staircase is sculptured with a steek and can be seen from behind the window.
The entrance wall is made of natural timber added in such a pattern (herringbone) to give the steel, glass, and concrete structure a softer feel for impact. The interior ceilings were beautifully designed with a 3D form to thrill the eyes.
The interior of the house is made up of steel perforated panels with concrete. The lighting designs were chosen in such a way to highlight the beautiful angles of the house. The Architect, Nico Van Der Meulen has been renowned for his ability to connect indoor spaces with the outdoors and that was the plan with this house. He made use of frameless folding doors made of glass. This made the veranda look like an extension of the living room with more space. The floors of the living room, kitchen, and dining room are all made of polished concrete just like the veranda.
The Kloof House was built with four-suit bedrooms, two children’s bedrooms, and a guest bedroom that is located at the upper section of the house. The main bedroom was designed with a balcony to make it spacious as much as it can be private with an open bathroom that connects with the dressing room. The main suite has its lounge with a TV and a fireplace with a small kitchen that can also serve as a bar when you’re not heating things.
The Kloof Road House is a complete mansion that will thrill anyone. You can never miss this nice structure if you’re sizing up the best and most beautiful houses in South Africa.
4. House Jones
- Location: Sandton, Johannesburg
- Builder (Architectural firm): ERA Architects
- Owner: Ivor Jones
- Best Features: The ability to change its appearance in response to changes in the environment
If you ever think of a mansion that was designed with environmental considerations, then the House Jones is the perfect fit for that. This mansion was designed in 2012 by the design company, Environment Response Architecture Architect. The design of the house was highly motivated by environmental changes and the need to adapt. The structure is powered by solar panels and is eco-friendly. In creating the structure, the design company focused on the concept of sustainable development which includes social, economic, and environmental sustainability.
This makes House Jones a perfect representation of the environmental approach to design. The specifics combined were sun protection, water recycling and consumption, solar energy, and sustainable home automation. These qualities were combined to form a unique, beautiful, and sustainable model that is uncommon.
The majority of the materials used in building the house are recycled and reusable materials. The materials were stored in large tanks that can hold up to 40,000 liters onsite. Energy used in building the house was greatly reduced while solar thermal generating systems were used for under-floor heating during constructions.
The landscaping of the building integrates both the internal and external spaces, creating a micro-climate circle that focuses on green vegetation.
This means that there’s an envelope of steel structures that are used to produce green bubbles that will be the sight of any open space. This ensures that the house can adapt to any weather condition of the environment every year. The impact is that during winter, the house will provide the residents with a sunny environment that will enable them to keep warm while during the summer, the house can now adapt to produce cooler environments where they can stay comfortably. The impact of these mediating spaces is that they will regulate the air inflow in and out of the house.
The ability of this house to adapt favorably to weather conditions is what makes it unique while the green vegetation enclosure around the house provides a sight that one can get used to at all seasons. The house is covered with a protective metallic frame, giving anyone living in them the required comfort that they crave. The spaces in the house have their special microclimate enclosure that induces the free flow between the exterior of the house and its interior. The plants surrounding the building are also good at regulating temperature and improving air quality. House Jones is a beautiful structure that beats any cliché that comes with house development.
5. The West Pavilion
- Location: Westcliff Ridge Johannesburg
- Builder (Architectural firm): George Van Gass and Clare Eisenstein
- Owner: Undisclosed
- Best Features: The Floating stone Wall
This is a unique mansion that is situated in the leafy suburbs of Johannesburg often characterized by beautiful mansions and bright designs. The mansion in question was designed by George Van Gass architecture with Clare Eisenstein. The house was named after the Westcliff, the Joburg town, and was completed in 2012. What caught the eye most in this mansion is the use of floating stone for the design of the building on one side while the other part of the building was constructed with glass materials.
The mansion was well crafted with steel and it recently won an award from the South African Institute of Structural Steel Awards for the ingenuity of the steel architecture that was used in building it. The majority of the house’s construction was done using the I-section for beams and square hollow tubes for the vertical columns. Other primary materials that were used for the building include aluminum, glass, quartzite stone, and teak. Heavier materials were rarely used to limit the weight of the structure.
To make the mansion special, the developers decided to make use of floating stone walls that moves through the cross-section of the pavilion house. The plan was to make use of the knowledge of solid walls to design a load-bearing element that will not rely on the ground’s solid foundation to stand. This resulted in the construction of a levitating stone wall which is one of the most impressive construction engineering works that we have seen in recent times. The result was a floating stone wall that is suspended off the steel-framed structure already in place.
The choice to use steel as one of the major materials for construction was due to the requirement of the owner to have glass used on the sides of the house. That was supposed to run across the length of the building. This was complemented with aluminum and steel-framed windows and doors being used at entrances instead of the usual heavy building materials such as concrete.
The house was meant to float above the ground to have little impact on the surroundings. This is why the steel frame was the best option that the developers can decide on at that moment. The other reason for using steel was to make a delightful aesthetic view for any visitors or inhabitants of the house. It will also give the structure more space than it could have gotten if heavier materials are used.
As one of the most beautiful houses in South Africa, The West Pavilion is a beauty to behold and is one of the marvels of modern engineering with technological innovation. The structure is simply aesthetic and can last for ages, giving you the impression that it is weightless due to its sunk steel rods.
Modern Houses in South Africa
It has been proven time and time again that the structures in South Africa’s major cities are built up to modern standards. The ones that are great among them are found in residential areas although a few of them are used for business purposes. Each of these structures has qualities that can be quoted to be of modern standards and they have expansive views and enough outdoor spaces to match. Let’s take a look at some of the topmost modern houses in South Africa.
6. Clifton House
- Location: Clifton, Cape Town, South Africa
- Builder (Architectural Firm): Malan Vorster Architecture Interior Design
- Owner: Undisclosed
- Best Features: The mighty view overlooking the ocean from all angles.
This is a mighty mansion located in Clifton, Cape Town. The mansion stands on a 789m2 land and is viewed as one of the finest houses in South Africa. The house was built for a British couple who demanded a modern structure that will give a great view of the ocean. It was completed in 2011 although it was remodeled to suit modern standards.
The house is a six-bedroom suite with upper and lower levels. It also offers a view of the mountains surrounding the landscape.
The color of the house was inspired by the mountains and the façade was painted black as a result to recede into the mountain as opposed to intruding the landscape. The spectacular view of the sea, the sun’s impact, and the overlooking mountains make this house stand out. Due to the unobstructed rays of the sun, the choice of the screens, windows, and louvers was done to diminish it and give it a special look. The living room can lead you to open spaces facing the West and the East, giving you the impression of an open pavilion.
The spaces in this mansion are elevated through the use of Gabian wall with work done on crafting out a large garage. The residences are then divided into three off-shutter concrete building blocks. The indoor and outdoor spaces spread seamlessly into the indoor and outdoor living spaces with a courtyard that is comfortable enough to offer sufficient privacy. The house has modern facilities such as a swimming pool, a gym, a cinema room, and a garden. The house also has automated curtains and blinds that can either open or close by the press of a button, giving you the feel of being in wonderland.
The house is designed with special highlights to beautify it. The entrance is designed with walnut timber and is one of the best features of the house. The entrance space is designed with an awesome lighting installation through a backlit slumped glass that gives you an out-of-the-world experience. The staircase is made of floating timber with stainless steel rods as railings.
The kitchen has a kitchen box that is made of walnut timber while the bar is designed with carbon fiber and the pool floor is made with granite. The interior of the house was designed to be as lean as possible as demanded by the client. The lighting is top-notch and has been made to make a great spectacle. The Clifton House is a magnificent structure by any standards and should be considered as one of the best modern structures.
7. Nettleton 198 House
- Location: Cape Town, South Africa
- Builder (Architectural Firm): Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects
- Owner: British Couple Living in Cape town
- Best Features: The entrance materials that are made of walnut timber
This house is regarded as one of the most beautiful houses in the world. There have been so many structures that rivaled it in design but none has been as unique and beautiful as this structure. The house became popular after it was completed in 2011 by SAOTA, which has been known for its extremely beautiful and innovative designs. To begin with, the location of the structure is in the Clifton suburb which is an exclusive residential area known for modern and beautiful structures. The real estate in that area is quite pricy and but the exquisite designs are worth it. The home is located in the cliffs with exclusive views of the Atlantic Ocean and there’s nothing more magical than that.
When it comes to the design of the house, the walls were made of black marble while the floors were made of timber. There are also blue glass installations all over the house, making it a serene atmosphere that anyone can enjoy with the sea view. The exterior of the building was done with aluminum with a great surface finish that can thrill the eyes.
The sea and Lions Head view is another quality that adds to the already thrilling features that the house has to offer. The kitchen area is made of walnut timber with a warm feel. The sun is harsh in this area and this made the developers go for shutters and tinted blinds with serene colors that will add to the beauty of the house. The lighting is another area that the developers targeted to thrill anyone that would wish to visit the place.
The house is made of 6 bedrooms and it has seven levels. The house was recently remodeled on its lower level while the upper level was dismantled and two additional levels were added to it. It’s residential and can be suitable for families who are looking for a larger space where they can stay in comfort. The garage can contain up to five cars. Other major installations include a swimming pool, a timber-made staircase, a central air conditioning system, and a walnut timber-made kitchen.
There are very few houses that can beat the beauty of the Nettleton 198. The property was carefully thought out and designed according to every last detail. That’s a magnificent construction by SAOTA.
8. Newlands House
- Location: Cape Town, South Africa
- Builder: Anthonio Zaninovic Architects
- Owner: Undisclosed
- Best Features: The combination of natural elements with magnificent architecture
This is a wonderful structure from the innovation and ingenuities of Anthony Zaninovic Architects. The Newlands house is the kind of mansion that you can only get in a dream scenario and thrills the spectator as much as it would thrill the owner. The ocean views, the mountain views, and the green vegetation give this wonderful project a worthy natural look that you cannot get anywhere else. The blend of this architecture with natural elements is an outstanding quality that this house has. The house was designed to connect with the oceanfront and the mountain in a modern look that many people are looking for.
The natural environment gives this villa an outstanding look that will tell you that the owner is a lover of nature. The house was targeted and built at the foot of the mountain to bring out the spectacular view of the landscape and to allow the occupants to appreciate the beauty of the surrounding nature. Zaninovic architects have always been known as a company that acts as a link between the organic and modern construction details.
The house was mostly made of glass window frames to give the occupants a nice view of the surrounding nature. This structure was situated below street level to protect it from the wind that blows ferociously in the area. The designers deliberately chose the windows to stand away from the direction through which the winds come from.
The living area has a patio where anyone can sit and bask in the ambiance of nature and it’s 8 feet out from it. Water elements were placed before the entrance to use the breeze to cool the hot effects of the sun. This means that you can see different reflecting pools that run across each of the windows in a way that will negate the full effects of the sun in the living area.
As one of the most beautiful houses in South Africa which is also modern, the house was designed to have outdoor to indoor interaction. This means that indoor spaces will open out seamlessly to the outside. This made the reflecting pool outside the pool area start from the foyer while a glass wall that is about 4 inches into the 16-inch depth pool enables the free flow of the water. The master bedroom has a big loft with a bed, a sitting area, a bathtub, and a desk. The wall is entirely made of glass while the doors are glass pocket sliding doors. The patio is a very good spot for movies through the use of a projector screen that can be pulled down. There is another patio in the dining area in cases of barbecues. This is to tell you that the place was well thought out for all family scenarios.
The interior design was motivated by the surrounding landscape and the decorations prioritized texture over color. The living area is made of mahogany, the chairs are made with pony skin while the rug in the master bedroom is made of goatskin. The flooring is a mixture of white cement, marble dust, and sand.
9. Firth 114802
- Location: Rondebosch Cape Town, South Africa
- Builder: Three 14 Architects
- Owner: Undisclosed
- Best Features: The minimal white box that houses the bedroom space
This is a beautiful structure by the Three14 Architects. The house is situated in Cape Town on an elongated site with views towards the Black Table and Devil’s Peak. The first floor features something that is not common to most structures and that is a minimal white box housing its accommodation. The box hovers over the living spaces on the first floor and is quite noticeable, helping in maximizing its exposure and views to light. It also comes with a center courtyard carved at a position adjacent to the dining room and aligned with the kitchen, creating a focal point. The suspended box appears as a spectacular screen when viewed from the street frontage and creates an open-air terrace for the guest wing of the house.
This makes the screen provide sufficient privacy when you consider the street view and allows light to permeate moderately. The structure is built from constructed and pre-cast concrete breeze blocks which looked like an ancient era construction.
The living spaces were designed to be open plan and spilled into the courtyard and its terrace to the North, while the garden and the mountain views are positioned to the West. A special tree that was selected by the owner was planted in the courtyard as a source of shade for the garden area and gives the spaces around it a special light adaptation. The tree prevents direct sun rays from the North and forms a canopy for privacy for the people on the first floor.
The staircase is designed with steel and timber and connects the two levels of the building, opening up to a utility space that has been built as an open plan on the first floor. This separates the guest wing from the master suite and connects seamlessly to the courtyard and the tree on the ground floor. There is minimized exposure for the circulation spaces and they were all arranged properly with the external views on its axis.
The ground floor was designed with a monolithic polished concrete floor finish. This spans all through the floor and differentiates the threshold of the indoor and outdoor. The upstairs was designed with solid hardwood timber floorboards and natural limestone tiles, creating enough warmth and texture for the inner spaces of the house. The street boundary and courtyard façade were designed with rough concrete (off-shutter) elements highlighting the white box texture for aesthetic purposes.
The house is light-filled and is a very beautiful structure that highlights the climatic and contextual conditions of the surrounding environment. This is an uncommon design that should bring enough compliment to the developers that made this beautiful house which was designed within the required budget. It has a modern look with an adapted design from the old structures we’re used to. The structure is always worthy of mention as one of the most beautiful houses in South Africa.
10. Head Road Glamour House
- Location: Cape Town, South Africa
- Builder: Jenny Mills Architects
- Owner: Undisclosed
- Best Features: The house’s unique shape
The Head Road Glamour House is a fine structure that was built along the Fresnaye slopes of Lion’s Head, Cape Town. You will feel the beautiful view of this house when coming from Ocean’s View Drive. The shape of the house has the form of rock formations and comes with an organic shape, making it one of the most unique designs I’ve ever seen. This house is the work of Jenny Mills architects and was recently remodeled to meet modern standards despite being a great view at any time. The remodeling also has much to do with the fact that the owner demanded spectacular views from the road which the original house didn’t have.
The reconstruction of the house opened it up to the mountain and its wonderful scenery. The house needed professional planning for the rebuild and the result is a simple modern sculptural façade that blended in nicely with the immediate natural environment. The crafting of the entrance from the Head Road is one of the significant aspects of the house. The entry was double volume and has enough space for its spiral staircase which made the house all the more spectacular.
The room round room has a faceted mirror that creates a perfect illusion that will thrill anyone as they step foot into the place. The kitchen is designed with warm tones and copper tiles which is inspired by the owner’s copper pot collection.
The living area comes with a spectacular structure with little slender support and glass sliding doors that blend it with the landscape of the building. The opening of the doors completely eliminates the boundaries between indoors and outdoors. The top level of the original house plan had to be demolished and remodeled into a new structure that blended with the natural environment. This is a nice structure that definitely should be worth a mention anytime beautiful houses in South Africa are counted.
Summary List of the 10 Most Beautiful and Modern Houses in South Africa
- OVD 919 House, Bantry Bay, Cape Town
- Galilai Rotating House: Somerset West Read
- Kloof Road: Johannesburg
- House Jones: Sandton, Johannesburg
- The West Pavilion: Westcliff Ridge Johannesburg
- Clifton House: Clifton, Cape Town
- Nettleton 198 House: Cape Town, South Africa
- Newlands House: Cape Town, South Africa
- Firth 114802: Rondebosch Cape Town, South Africa
- Head Road Glamour House: Cape Town South Africa