Rondebosch Oval in Cape Town’s southern suburbs is a new 41-home estate that incorporates a historic cricket oval and a modern clubhouse with lifestyle facilities. The estate exudes a tranquil atmosphere and an air of effortless sophistication. But what actually goes into creating such a masterpiece?
A lot. The soothing ambience of a place like this wouldn’t be possible without the expert endeavours of a team of dedicated professionals, every one of whom was carefully selected to ensure that their ethos matched that of Rondebosch Oval exactly, and that they, too, were driven by the desire to create a new kind of home for the modern family.
Designed for life
Stroll through Rondebosch Oval, and you’ll notice that you feel more as if you are taking a walk through a neighbourhood than a typical estate. Derick Henstra of dhk, the architects behind the development, reports that the firm worked hard to meld indoors and outdoors, so that giant windows and sliding doors in the open-plan living area in each home (including dining room and kitchen) open up to welcome the light and energy of the garden. This is not only important from an aesthetic perspective; the houses’ ability to make optimal use of natural light and ventilation is a vital element in their sustainable design. This approach is followed in the upstairs bedrooms, too: each has a spacious balcony or terrace to soak up the morning sun or watch the day come to a tranquil end. The homes also have patios and pool areas, complete with decks.
With more than 30 years’ experience designing homes, holiday getaways and lodges, Lederle Design was an obvious choice to create Rondebosch Oval’s signature interiors. The company’s creativity and flair can be seen in establishments from Camps Bay to Italy and France, in each case using the environment as a starting point to curate a home that’s as beautiful to look at as it is comfortable to live in.
This was indeed the case at Rondebosch Oval. Lederle Design’s Sue Lederle reports that the company was briefed to create beautiful spaces with broad appeal. ‘My own design style errs on the side of the classic, but we knew that potential buyers’ tastes would probably be more contemporary,’ she says. This amalgamation is brought to life in the Rondebosch Oval show house, where Sue and her team had enormous fun creating a space that could serve as a template, showing home owners how they could personalise their homes with statement wallpaper, bold furniture and unexpected colour. The result is a classic home with elegant touches and pops of colour, like the botanical wallpaper in the guest bathroom.
The homes themselves have been planned to ‘create an elegant, homey country feeling in the city, enhanced by the breathtaking mountain views’. Lederle selected finishes that are modern without being clinical, leveraging colour as the main design tool. ‘We kept the decor neutral, as this would appeal to the largest pool of buyers while also containing costs,’ she adds, noting that neutral does not mean boring: fabric prints from Home Fabrics, Halogen and Lula Fabrics were used extensively throughout to create depth and add interest. ‘These come together to make a home that we feel most people would love to live in and where they would be proud to welcome their friends,’ Sue says. ‘With their gorgeous bedrooms, well laid out bathrooms and spacious, colourful yet chic entertaining areas, the homes offer real charm.’
All in order
Pam Golding Property Management Services was approached by Rawson Developers at the earliest planning stages of the project. For two years, the company has been at work compiling budgets, setting up security infrastructure and setting the stage for effective estate management, including the management of the homeowners association.
Rondebosch Oval requires a unique approach, notes Mike Morey of Pam Golding Property Management Services: this is the only estate in the country (and probably one of very few worldwide) to be built around an active cricket and bowls club. Thus, while the company has extensive experience managing the nuances of golf, eco- and even wine estates, this is a new area. ‘Apart from undertaking regular duties, we’ll also be on hand when there are cricket matches.’
Rondebosch Oval residents are able to download movies, catch up on social media and keep abreast of workplace developments thanks to the world-class fibre network installed by Fibre To The Apartment (FTTA). The company’s Sean Ryan explains that it aimed to build a ‘future-proof’, first-class, point-to-point fibre network that would act as the estate’s central nervous system, accommodating everything from DStv to open access internet services, VoIP, and communications relating to the security system.
Ryan breaks down these various functions: ‘DStv over Fibre allows residents to access HD channels – current and future – with no compromise on quality. We used just one centralised dish, to ensure that the aesthetics of the estate remain unspoiled. Then there’s the Point-to-Point Fibre Data Network, which makes it possible for each home to access our highest available internet speeds. The open access network makes it possible to use other ISPs, too.’ He adds that every home will be able to make use of the fibre network to make phone calls using a VoIP phone rather than a landline.
At estate level, the fibre network is central to Rondebosch Oval’s considerable security offering. Ryan says that it’s thanks to the security fibre network that the estate has been able to place CCTV cameras in all corners of the property’s perimeter, without installing repeaters or other devices to improve signal or quality. Finally, the electric fence makes use of the fibre backbone so that the energisers can communicate with the control room.
Longmans’s Isabelle Handley observes that careful use of water was a key consideration for the estate, especially in view of the current drought. It was for this reason, as much as for aesthetics, that fynbos and hardy exotics were used throughout the public spaces, while home owners have free reign over their individual gardens. This is important, Isabelle maintains, as it allows people to inject their own personality into their private areas, and avoids the ‘sameness’ that can be a bugbear of estate living. ‘We’ve seen a lot of variety in residents’ gardens, from structural, sculptural plantings to pure white flowers reminiscent of an English country garden,’ she reports.
There is, however, a unifying theme that creates coherence throughout the estate: in front of each home, raised planters create a focal point, adding depth and offering an arresting textural contrast against the homes’ wooden cladded feature walls. There are, additionally, small trees (growing up to six metres) in front of each house. Trees have also been used to create privacy between the houses. ‘Because the appearance of the homes is decidedly upmarket, we opted for a formal structure, using hedges as borders and repeated patterns to prevent monotony,’ Isabelle informs. Her careful design and considered selection culminates in gardens that are fun, low maintenance and, with plants that flower at different times, present something beautiful to look at year-round.
With their vast experience in developing premium products, Rawson Developers have perfected the art of creating fantastic teams of consummate professionals to produce lovely lifestyle estates like Rondebosch Oval that offer investors capital appreciation as well as a fabulous lifestyle for their families.