The Assembly Room, Mutual Heights, Cape Town

  • R33,000,000
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
For Sale New Properties

The Assembly Room, Mutual Heights, Cape Town

Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
  • R33,000,000

Overview

  • Apartment
  • Property Type
  • 443
  • 3
  • Bedrooms
  • 3.5
  • Bathrooms

Details

Updated on June 6, 2024 at 2:29 pm
  • Property Size: 443 m²
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Bathrooms: 3.5
  • Property Type: Apartment
  • Property Status: For Sale, New Properties

Description

An iconic Art Deco landmark, and once the tallest building in Cape Town, Mutual Heights has been revered by architects and interior designers since it first came on the market for redevelopment in the early 2000s. Whether it was the ziggurat design with distinctive prism-shaped windows, the 115-metre-long carved frieze or the glamorous Gatsby-esque lobby – certainly one of the most elegant in Africa, if not the world – the air of mystery has always intrigued. Today its pièce de resistance, The Assembly Room with its magnificent frescoes, is for sale.

Its masterful conversion from an abandoned corporate meeting space, with proportions that were not at all homely, to the coveted and architecturally striking but cosy family home it is today was envisioned by none other than architect Alexander McGee of the Cape Town-based practice Urbain McGee with interiors by Adri and Vincent Clery of Atelier Interiors.

Steeped in history

McGee recalls the moment he first walked into the Assembly Room, a vast and imposing pre-war gathering space: ‘It felt as if someone had packed up their things in 1960 and walked out,’ he said. Nothing had moved in the oval hall, even the leather armchairs and the original dining tables stood frozen in time.

Decorated with frescoes by artist Le Roux Smith Le Roux, the cavernous double-volume space had an upper gallery and even a stage area. Heritage protection status resulted in the space being left intact during the 2003 reworking of the old bank building while a heritage practitioner, art historian and restorer, plus a Feng-Shui consultant were all appointed to work on the project. The only ‘architectural’ intervention within the Assembly Room itself was a single door that now links a ‘front-of-house kitchen’ to connect to a working kitchen and laundry area. Everything else remained open-plan but was divided into distinct areas, with strong furniture pieces, tactile textures and a collection of art pulling the interior scheme together.

Treasure trove

The most dramatic transformation came when the staircase was moved to create three additional rooms while still linking the two floors, while screens, light fittings, ironmongery and other architectural features were salvaged from basement vaults to be restored and reintroduced to integrate new features with originals. Local artisans and joiners created bespoke solid hand-carved granite stone vanity units while brushed stainless steel fixtures and glass frames, feature marble slab details and bathrooms were designed as an ode to the Art Deco style.

‘The apartment really speaks for itself, but living here is really amazing. It’s very quiet, even though it’s in the city, and the views of Lion’s Head and Table Mountain are extraordinary from the balconies. Even though it’s big, it’s very much a lock-up-and-go setup. There’s also excellent 24-hour security and biometric access, so we drive into the building and feel extremely safe all the way to the 8th floor, where secure elevators open up directly into the lobby. Leaving my family there when I travel gives me peace of mind.’

The Assembly Room has featured in many esteemed publications including Architectural Digest in France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and USA; Elle Décor, France; House and Leisure, South Africa and the New York Times.

The best of inner city living

The joy of living here is that some of the best restaurants in the world are literally around the corner. ‘FYN and Ramenhead are favourites, as is the boutique Labotessa Hotel, which is great for coffee or breakfast,’ say the owners. Located in Speaker’s Corner, Ramenhead offers serious foodies authentic Japanese ramen with its silky freshly made noodles, while FYN was voted in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2022 and is a proud member of Relais & Chateaux. And by the time you walk around the corner into Church Square, the scent of Dutch apple tart and Labotessa’s chic black-and-white umbrellas will have you thinking you’ve discovered a hidden gem in Europe.

During the day, The Assembly Room is a five-minute walk from Bree Street, which is lined with some of Cape Town’s trendiest boutiques and restaurants, but it’s the city art galleries that bring aspirant art collectors for late-night gallery openings on First Thursday’s.

‘Living here really is incredible from an architectural point of view, and it’s well situated in terms of access to the airport and the highways. I think the sheer size of the apartment and the luxurious finishes make it a truly special place to live in, particularly with beautiful views of sunrise, sunsets and the rising of the moon,’ says the owner.

Specs:

  • Sectional title
  • Apartment size: 443 m²
  • Entrance hall
  • Lounge and dining room
  • Family room
  • Study
  • 3 bedrooms (en suite)
  • 3.5 bathrooms
  • Air conditioned
  • 2 parking bays
  • Laundry
  • Store room
  • Rates: 6,500 pm
  • Levy: R22,660 pm

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