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Architects recognised for design

A design project undertaken by a local firm has received a merit award for architecture from the South African Institute of Architects (SAIA). Of five award winners singled out in the competition, only one hails from the Western Cape.

Marcus Smit Jacobs Architects, which is represented in Stellenbosch and Somerset West, won the SAIA Mpumalanga Region Award for Architecture 2019. The firm scored of 90% for its work on the Silvan Safari Lodge, a luxury property situated in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, which is part of the greater Kruger National Park.

“We are truly grateful for the recognition that the project has received from SAIA Mpumalanga,” says company founder and architect Marcus Smit. “It was a rare opportunity to work with the owners and local building contractors on such a special location. Since the opening of the lodge the feedback has been tremendous. We hope many visitors will experience this special place for years to come.”

Commenting on the entry, the SAIA jury said Silvan Safari Lodge “needs to be commended for its contribution to high craft, innovation, and exceptionally engaging spaces, truly an architectural achievement of safari minimalism.”

The judges’ report also highlighted spaces and flows as “intriguing, generous and engaging”, the use of “sustainable technologies without compromising the comfort”.

They said: “The entire complex of buildings was meticulously detailed with intricate material connections, achieving high-end, luxurious architecture without gratuitous spending. Novel applications… break the mould of the traditional safari lodge tectonics.”

As winner of a regional award, the project now becomes a finalist in the assessment of national winners.

Marcus Smit Jacobs Architects was established in 1996 by Marcus Smit, and joined by fellow architect, Hannes Jacobs, as business partner, in 2014. The firm is registered with the South African Council for the Architectural Profession, The South African Institute for Architects and The Cape Institute for Architecture.

Over the years its work has been acknowledged with awards for excellence and attention by industry-leading publications.

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