private lodge, lapalala wilderness
The design for this private lodge was born out of a response to its dramatically beautiful context within Waterberg Biosphere. The lodge is arranged along a spine that reaches to the dramatic cliff beyond the Lephalala river to the east and a culturally significant iron age hill to the west. A perpendicular turf-roofed services axis forms the entrance, which carefully frames the view to an indigenous fig tree and the grassland beyond. The green roof - planted with wild grasses and succulents - provides a garden for the upstairs den and seamlessly embeds the lodge into the small hill to the south which in turn provides access across the hill to stand-alone guest suites via a landscaped pathway. The rust-coloured roofs and stone walls reference the settler farmhouses of the area as well as the iron-rich cliff that glows a fiery red at sunset. In the main living area, large sliding doors disappear into the walls to blur interior / exterior definitions and to allow the sights, sounds and smells of the bush to delight the owners, who have a profound love of Africa.
Care was taken to reduce the impact on the environment. The lodge is orientated to take advantage of cooling breezes for cross-ventilation and to capture the hottest sun for the photovoltaic panels that power the lodge. In the cold winter months, living areas are warmed by closed combustion fireplaces. Energy efficient evaporative coolers bring respite from the summer heat. A system of rainwater tanks captures water from summer storms for use during the dry winter.