architecture | design | sustainability
mhondoro game lodge, welgevonden game reserve
Mhondoro Lodge is sited on a rocky ridge with an unusual combination of expansive views of distant mountains and immediate views of a grassy plain fringed with trees.
The main concept behind the new main area for Mhondoro Lodge was an attempt to use contextual forces to give the lodge a sense of place and meaning. In this case, the context was the existing lodge and the spectacular natural setting of Mhondoro. We believe that beauty lies in nature, and in its essential non-linearity. The idea was to create a building that spoke to the existing linear thatch buildings, but also to the setting of the curvilinear rocky outcrop and its gorgeous aspect.
The waterhole formed the important focus and setting-out point for a series of curves that resulted in serpentine thatch buildings that respond to the existing lodge, the landscape and the panoramas.
The approach is from above, where the curves of the main lodge roof are nestled into the velvet bushwillows and wild seringas of the lodge kopje. At first the long view is glimpsed, but it is only after the descent through the welcoming embrace of the stone clad “arms” of the lodge entrance that the jewel of the waterhole is unveiled. The redesigned main area offers the viewer incredible proximity to the daily parade of animals, often clustered around this waterhole that formed the focal point for the new building form. An underground tunnel physically connects guests to a buried viewing and photography hide that offers an up-close wildlife experience at the water's edge.
photography: DOOK PHOTOGRAPHY I imprint architecture I interior design: ALL-IN LIVING