Text Graham Wood Production Sven Alberding Photographs Elsa Young
This reinvigorated late modernist home at the foot of Table Mountain has become an ever-evolving personal exhibition space for its gallerist owners and their young family.
Candace and William Marshall-Smith decided to renovate their Cape Town home while Candace was still energised after the renovation of her fine art gallery, SMITH, in the historic city centre.
Not long after moving from Johannesburg to Cape Town with their young family, Candace and William found a house in a wonderful spot in Oranjezicht in Cape Town’s City Bowl. The house itself was a fairly unremarkable 1970s double-storey. “It looked like a school building,” laughs Candace, “but it had a wonderful sense of space, which is rare in Cape Town. It had incredible views of the city and Lion’s Head to one side, and it’s right at the foot of Table Mountain.”
A terraced rocky garden with a beautiful stone staircase seems to bring the mountain right down to the edge of the house, giving it a strong presence and sense of place. Yet, somehow, it’s potential had been overlooked, perhaps because of its inelegant architecture. But the position and 360-degree views were enough for Candace and William. “I just remember being astonished at the views,” says Candace. And they could see potential in some of the house’s late mid-century features.
Nevertheless, she and William didn’t renovate immediately. “We lived in it for three years,” she says. “We had time to consider what we wanted to do.”
Besides, Candace was rather taken up with the launch of her gallery in a beautiful, idiosyncratic heritage building in Church Street in the historic city centre. After the success of that project, however, she was ready for another challenge and decided to renovate.