Designing a lodge in a wilderness area is both exciting and challenging. The first challenge is laying out the lodge development to make best use of the terrain and the views whilst still being practical.
Henriette and I have spent many hours walking the site and planning the layout. Our fist attempt was in the eastern corner of the site on a flat section of land. It soon became clear that this would be problematic. Firstly it is very close to the flood-line and it would be very visible from the Sterkstroom Valley Road.
Our second attempt was to use the ridge on the site and position the lodge linear to the ridge. This provided for spectacular views and kept the lodge way above the flood-line. With the concept developed in our minds the questions became far more technical. How to best use the contours, how far apart to place the tents, where to position the main lodge, water and sewer reticulation.
To help solve the “puzzle” we partnered with FTK Design and Development. The team headed up by Graeme Labe have significant experience in lodge development both in Africa and other continents around the globe.
The FTK team conducting the on-site assessment on 4 Dec 15
To get the ball rolling the site is being surveyed in detail today to produce a map showing the contours and large trees. Brian Viljoen and his team spend the full day surveying the site to produce the map.
The detail site map produced by Brian Viljoen
Graeme and his team spend the day with us assessing the site and reviewing the site layout options. By the afternoon the five tent sites, the site for our new home and the main lodge are all identified. The GPS-coordinates are recorded and the sites clearly marked with whitewash. We have a conceptual layout of the lodge!
After our return form the December holidays Anomien Smith, the Architect on the project, brings the surveyed map and the conceptual design together. This produces the first version of lodge layout for review and discussion. It now feels like the project has really started!
The first site layout completed by Anomien Smit