South Africa’s iconic Cape Dutch-style architecture has inspired many modern revisions and knockoffs, but why stop there? Here are 10 examples of modern South African architecture that will knock your socks off. The architects created buildings that are so much more than walls, a floor a roof and maybe a little flare on the front porch to show character. They helped create buildings that feel like a world of their own.
Looking at this artists impression, it’s almost impossible to figure out how to enter this building. And, indeed, the entrance is hidden behind some thick shrubbery, and you have to cross sheets of water, criss-crossing columns and crazy angles to get to the center of the building.
Meant to optimize the viewing of the surrounding wildlife, this private guest cottage sits in a remote, lush area on the Vaal River. It’s often used for entertainment, and the gardens are available for visitation.
This luxury boutique hotel is meant to look like a residential building, and was built to meet the demands of busy business travelers. What’s impressive about this hotel is how efficiently the architects made use of a small amount of space. The ground floor makes up the public space with the lobby sandwiched between the dining room and boardrooms, and the second story consists of several suites.
This stunning and minimalistic property is a 450-student boarding school that takes in students from all over South Africa. In the middle of the school are the library and quadrangle, and on two outer wings are the classrooms and dormitories.
The University of Johannesburg recently built this gorgeous theater entirely inside a concrete shell with the dance studio in a large, open wing surrounded by windows. Inside the large covered structure is a theater with incredible acoustics.
A Johannesburg family built this house with the intention of moving after retirement. The family made use of a natural depression in the ground to build a carport, and built a folded plane on the roof to make it look like the house meets the horizon.
There is a lot of symbolism in this building meant to reflect South Africa’s political past and its more current, tourist-oriented economy. But the building also makes use of some of the designs seen in the villa-type developments popping up around Berlin, as well as some neo-classical elements from Berlin’s past.
T-Systems’ new building has many similar elements to its old headquarters, such as the sharp-edged silhouette with plates that appear to fold over one another, creating the various levels. The inside, however, has softer, more traditional rooms.
Above is an image of one of the lodges being designed by South African architecture firm Zenkaya. The lodges will eventually be delivered via truck, fully furnished, to wherever the guests want to camp for the night.
This luxury house was designed by Wessels Joyce Associates and its walls are almost entirely glass, including on the inside of the house lining the hallways. An infinity pool appears to spill over the edge of the front deck, and an exposed, floating staircase connects the first and second storeys.