Silver Bay / SAOTA

© Adam Letch

Architects: SAOTA
Location: Shelley Point, St Helena Bay,
Design Team: Greg Truen, Yusuf Vahed, Mark Rielly, Ashleigh Gilmour, Silvia Eigelaar
Year: 2010
Photographs: Adam Letch, Enda Cavanagh

Studio Origin Represents Seoul in the UIA 2014 World Congress

Interior View. Image © Studio Origin

This year’s UIA World Congress was held in , South Africa, and saw the participation of many well-respected firms. Representing South Korea were Kang Jun Lee and Yung A Kim of Studio Origin, whose pavilion highlighted the city of Seoul. Meant to herald the city as the host for the 2017 World Congress, their carefully arranged design offers space for a number of different promotional displays. See the details on this unique structure, after the break.

Gangouroubouro Primary School / LEVS architecten

Courtesy of

Architects: LEVS architecten
Contractor: Enterprise Dara (Sevaré, Mopti) in collaboration with students of the Technical College in Sevaré and with the local population of Gangouroubouro
Area: 295.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Courtesy of LEVS architecten

Cove 3 / SAOTA

Courtesy of

Architects: SAOTA
Location: Knysna,
Design Team: Greg Truen & Roxanne Kaye
Area: 1005.0 sqm
Year: 2010
Photographs: Courtesy of SAOTA, John Devonport, Micky Hoyle courtesy of VISI

105 Corlett Drive / Paragon Architects

© Andrew Bell

Architects: Paragon Architects
Location: 105 Corlett Drive, , 2196, South Africa
Architect In Charge: Anthony Orelowitz, Carla Soudien, Kate Keightly-Smith, John Peska, Yumna Ismail, Tom Hill
Year: 2013
Photographs: Andrew Bell

House in the Mountains / Wolff Architects

© James Puttick

Architects: Wolff Architects
Location: Cederberg, ,
Architect In Charge: Heinrich Wolff
Year: 2013
Photographs: James Puttick , Courtesy of Heinrich Wolff

UIA World Congress Reveals Architecture’s Other Side

Rahul Mehrotra’s designs for an office building in Hyderabad exemplify the social agenda of architecture which dominated discussions at this year’s UIA World Congress. Image © Carlos Chen

With the International Union of Architects (UIA)’s World Congress taking place last month, the eyes of the architecture world were on South Africa where – according to Phineas Harper of the Architectural Review - the conference was full of architects of all backgrounds with “irrepressible energy,” sharing ideas on how architecture can be used for social good with an urgency that is somewhat unfamiliar in the Western world. ”Whoever said architecture was stale, male and pale should have been in ,” says Harper. You can read the full review of the event here.

Harper’s review also singles out the “electrifying” keynote speech of Rahul Mehrotra, who explained how he used his architecture to bridge social and cultural gaps while still serving his clients’ needs, in projects such as his Hyderabad offices. You can see him discuss these ideas in our interview with Mehrotra here:

AD Interviews: Rahul Mehrotra / RMA Architects

Morvest Headquarters / Anthrop Architects

© Dewald van Helsdingen

Architects: Anthrop Architects
Location: Noordwyk, , South Africa
Year: 2013
Photographs: Dewald van Helsdingen

Hillside / GASS Architecture Studios

© Kate Del Fante Scott

Architects: GASS Architecture Studios
Location: , South Africa
Onsite Project Architect: Chris Bakker
Principal Architect: Georg van Gass
Year: 2013
Photographs: Kate Del Fante Scott

Pearl Bay residence / Gavin Maddock Design Studio

© Adam Letch

Architects: Gavin Maddock Design Studio
Location: ,
Photographs: Adam Letch

Kirstenbosch Centenary tree canopy walkway / Mark Thomas Architects

© Adam Harrower

Architects: Mark Thomas Architects
Location: Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, ,
Architect In Charge: Mark Thomas, Christopher Bisset
Photographs: Adam Harrower

House Liebmann / Daffonchio and Associates

Courtesy of

Architects: Daffonchio and Associates
Location: Johannesburg,
Principal Architect: Enrico Daffonchio
Project Architect: Leigh Maurtin
Photographs: Courtesy of Daffonchio and Associates

House 02, Hyde Park / Daffonchio & Associates Architects

© Adam Letch

Architects: Daffonchio & Associates Architects
Location: Hyde Park, ,
Architect In Charge: Enrico Daffonchio
Project Team: Frances Joynt
Photographs: Adam Letch

House 01, Hyde Park / Daffonchio & Associates Architects

© Adam Letch

Architects: Daffonchio & Associates Architects
Location: Hyde Park, ,
Project Team: Frances Joynt
Photographs: Adam Letch

Aloe Ridge House / Metropole Architects

© Grant Pitcher

Architects: Metropole Architects
Location: ,
Design Architect: Nigel Tarboton
Area: 300 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Grant Pitcher

In Images: South Africa’s Stunning Treetop Walkway

© Adam Harrower

The much anticipated Treetop Walkway through the Arboretum in ’s Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden is now open to the public. Located 11 metres above the ground, the galvanised steel and timber structure offers breathtaking views from the treetops. The project, a collaboration between Mark Thomas Architects and Henry Fagan & Partners consulting engineers, has been nicknamed Boomslang - a large, highly venomous African tree snake – due to its elevated, twisting form. Check out the stunning photographs by Adam Harrower, a horticulturist at the garden, after the break.

Students and Community Members Come Together to Construct Theater in Cape Town Township

Courtesy of Future

The Guga S’Thebe Arts and Cultural Centre in Langa, Cape Town’s oldest township, is expanding to include a theatre exclusively for children and adolescents. The main component of the theatre, set for completion this fall, will be a large, multi-functional space for hosting performances. The project, a collaborative effort between future users and international architecture students, is aimed at stimulating sustainable development while widening the possibilities for the target demographic. To check out more project images, continue after the break.

Spotlight South Africa: Three Designs Instilling Dignity & Defeating Stigma

Mamelodi Pod, a home and temporary soccer club with solar electricity and rain water harvesting. Image Courtesy of

How do you undo centuries of inequality? How do you overturn an inequality so ingrained in a culture that it manifests itself physically - in the architecture of its homes and in the misshapen nature of its cities? 

This is the question post-apartheid South Africa has been struggling to answer for the past twenty years. And while the government has made many concerted efforts, for far too many the situation has remained largely the same. 

However, there are currents of change afoot. Many who have been marginalized are now working to defeat the stigma and legitimize their communities, and they are enlisting architects to the fray. From an organization in Capetown that aims to transform the role of the South African designer, to another in that uses design to legitimize informal architecture, to a project in one of the most violent townships in South Africa that has transformed a community, the following three projects are making a difference for the users who have the most to gain from their designs and design-thinking. All three represent not only the power of design to defeat stigma and instill dignity, but also the power of communities to incite these projects, make them their own, and enable them to thrive.