African Design Magazine August 2016 - Page 37

African project Mhondoro Game Lodge – South Africa Opened in early 2016, Mhondoro’s design was a collaborative effort. Working with the insights from lodge managers Annemarie Sechterberger and Jasper Bruinsma, the Vogel’s were able to keep authenticity to the bush experience. Bruinsma conceptualised Mhondoro’s underground waterhole hide, the first of its kind in South Africa. An animal viewing hide built around the waterhole that stands out front, it is accessed by a lit underground corridor leading from the Main Lodge, providing guests with the unique opportunity to view game at their leisure. At ground level, the hide provides excellent photographic opportunities from a distinctive perspective, as well as the excitement of getting really up close, anytime day or night, to elephants and other wildlife drinking from the waterhole. “The waterhole hide and underground access route really distinguishes Mhondoro from many other lodges,” says Julia Williams, founder of Imprint Architecture in Johannesburg. Working on the architecture of the Main Lodge, Williams worked to integrate features like the waterhole into an overall design that celebrates the bush surroundings. “In a bush setting, architecture shouldn’t compete with the natural environment but should complement it,” says Williams. “By using the natural outline of the landscape, our design blends into the contours of the environment and puts the horizon and the waterhole on show.” “The main concept behind the main lodge was an attempt to use contextual forces to Click here to read more