We guarantee that you’ve never come across a modern home design quite like the remodeled Cape Town church featured on The Design Traveller. The church recently went up for sale, after having been abandoned by the clergy that used to serve it in the 1960s. That was the cue that Italian couple Samuel and Danilo Benevelli needed. “It was like an angel whispering in my ear,” says Samuel, who now has an old renovated church serve as his home away from home. The couple, who spend three months per year in South Africa, hired architect Perry Harrison-Hyde to renovate and update the structure. After having been employed as a church, the building underwent several subsequent alterations and was used as a dance studio, woodworking shop and photographer’s studio.
The commissioned architect decided to create this masterpiece of modern house design by preserving much of its original atmosphere and functional intent. The interiors thus achieved are characterized by sleek, simple modern lines, an unpretentious décor and ample focus on functionality. To this end, Harrison-Hyde and his team dug out all the alterations deployed by the subsequent owners and users of the space. They scraped off several coats of paint to reveal a beautiful floor in massive hardwood, for instance. The overall design displays a fascinating contrast between the raw vibe of the building’s authentic architecture, versus the well balanced mixture of furniture styles. The floors are decidedly rustic, while the white cabinets in the kitchen are contrasted with the ogival arches of the Gothic windows. For a touch of modernism, metal chairs and lamps are juxtaposed with avant-garde art pieces in vibrant colors, on a background in immaculate white.