location: Sandhurst, Gauteng | interior design: Mêha Art & Interiors – Diane Tevoedjre / Dawie Griesel / Theodora Meselane | architecture: Jean Massyn | images: Roxzahne – InfrastructurePhotos

The brief to designer Diane Tevoedjre of Mêha Interiors was to create a practical, upmarket penthouse, which seamlessly merged state-of-the-art technology with elegant sophistication. This spacious unit measures 334 square metres under roof; to which terraces and the rooftop pool deck add a further 189 square metres.

Says the designer: ‘We chose to ensure that all the items selected were procured from only the finest venues globally. And in certain instances, we had to approach these suppliers to adjust or change their product to ensure integration with the technology used in this project.’

During the planning phase, the Mêha team were required to travel to various European countries to assess the furniture and decorative accessories from various suppliers and make the final selections. It was necessary to adhere to a strict and well-organised schedule to ensure that the deadline was met.

Interior designer Diane Tevoedjre: ‘This was a challenge from the very beginning. From the first viewing of the penthouse to the initiation of the design phase of the project took almost a year. And several subsequent challenges were faced between these two milestones. Logistically, procurement was a long and arduous process because there were several bespoke and handcrafted items selected, and some of these took months to produce before they could be shipped.

‘Logistics caused further delays in the finalisation. Virtually all of the items specified needed to be shipped from their European countries of origin to South Africa. On arrival, they had to be safely transported from the port of entry to Gauteng, which in certain instances took several months.

‘There were several very large furniture items and sections of wall panelling that were too large to be transported by elevator to the 12th-floor penthouse. These items had to be rope-hoisted along the exterior of the building. It took immense planning and collaboration between various team members, as well as the kind consideration of Mother Nature herself. This to ensure that they reached the penthouse without being dropped, nor causing damage to the innumerable windows on the building’s façade.

‘The client has very specific interior tastes. These manifested in a balanced mélange of contemporary and classic design, plus raw elements and flowing lines to create the look and feel required. Specific instruction was that the spaces should not be cold and clinical, as sometimes occurs in contemporary design schemes. In summation, our brief was to create a warm and welcoming, international-class home.’

This upmarket development is an iconic landmark. It’s an impressive modern glass / marble façade tower of 12 floors, situated in the heart of Sandton. The penthouse features a living area with a double volume ceiling height of 7.5 metres and 6.8-metre high glass double sliding doors open up onto vistas of the Sandton skyline, effectively linking interior and exterior.

Inspiration for this project evolved mainly from current European design and the inclusion of wood as an appealing added interior design element. Expansive use of imported timber wall cladding transforms the interior of the multifunctional space. Different textures and panelling were installed on the living room walls to warm the space and eliminate the ongoing maintenance of painted walls.

As the owner is a regular international traveller exposed to trending technology, the latest smart home developments were a prerequisite. Tech features include: integrated automated televisions, motorised curtains and blinds, an outdoor waterproof pop up TV and audio equipment; all sympathetically incorporated into the interior design. There is not a single television visible in the penthouse, unless it’s in use, and each bedroom’s TV is discreetly hidden in the base of beds and raised electronically.

The designer adds: ‘Our objective here was to create a timeless, elegant and inviting living space, fitted with luxurious furniture and unique accessories from around the world. And this without compromising on practicality and state-of-the-art technology. We introduced rich shades of wood, shaped into elegant and sophisticated lines to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere for a comfortable lifestyle that avoids a clinical ambiance.

‘This required look and feel was created by comparing the different tones and textures of high-end and bespoke furniture until the perfect balance was achieved.’

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