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'kisawa' resort weaves undulating thatched-roof villas into the sand dunes of mozambique

Kisawa sanctuary in Mozambique merges innovation & tradition

 

Nestled in the lush tropical landscape of Benguerra Island in Mozambique, Kisawa Sanctuary immerses guests in a world where innovation and tradition merge. The resort consists of eleven thatched-roof bungalows set in 300 acres of forest, beach, and sand dunes. The organic beachfront villas, designed by NJF, offer expansive ocean views and gently bring guests closer to the natural surroundings. 

 

‘Kisawa means ‘unbreakable’, and this defines our commitment: to build a bond between people and place, life and land.’ writes the Kisawa team on the sanctuary’s official website. ‘Our mission is to bring wilderness and wellbeing together, carefully and comfortably. In all that we do, we want to support and enable our guests to do as they wish, when they wish.’

'kisawa' resort weaves undulating thatched-roof villas into the sand dunes of mozambique
the resort takes shape as a cluster of organic thatched-roof villas | all images courtesy of Kisawa Sanctuary

 

 

sustainable construction and traditional techniques 

 

NJF’s vision was to integrate the resort into its surroundings rather than disrupt them. The Kisawa Sanctuary leaves only a small footprint on the land by adopting new ways of ‘conscious’ building that replace conventional techniques, thereby reducing the impact as much as possible. The construction involved artisans from Benguerra and neighboring islands who used techniques such as weaving, thatching, and carpentry, celebrating Mozambican heritage. The Mozambique-based sanctuary is also an example of sustainable construction since the team has reduced cement usage by an approximate 65% overall. 

 

The team worked closely with the community to create a contrasting array of textured, undulating, biophilic forms that were used to create the thatched roofs of the residences and the impressive ‘domes’ of the Wellness Center. Local weavers wove grasses into sliding doors and baskets, while artisans carved chairs and tables from native Jambir and Sambiri woods. Kisawa’s in-house artisan, Andre Antonio Zivane, created decorative objects from wood, ranging from miniature figures to oversized organically shaped sculptures.

'kisawa' resort weaves undulating thatched-roof villas into the sand dunes of mozambique
the beachfront bungalows offer expansive ocean views

 

 

INTERIOR DESIGN celebrating African heritage

 

Unique artwork and antiques from across Africa were sourced for the interior to ensure that historic artifacts are preserved and their provenance remains on the continent. This includes locally made, custom furniture that provides a thoughtful and authentic sense of place and connection to the natural environment while supporting local craftsmanship. This type of revolutionary hospitality combines respect, connection and heritage through its thoughtful and purposeful design. No two residences are alike, each incorporating different elements of furniture, antiques, objects, ceramics, and an individual color scheme. The works are complemented by selected works commissioned from young African and international artists.

 

Nina Flohr, creative director of NJF, sourced clay water pots made by the Nupe tribe in Nigeria and chairs hand-carved by the Makonde people in Tanzania. The wood is East African mahogany, carved from a single piece – usually to pay respect to an important member of the tribe.

'kisawa' resort weaves undulating thatched-roof villas into the sand dunes of mozambique
the resort gently brings guests closer to the natural surroundings

'kisawa' resort weaves undulating thatched-roof villas into the sand dunes of mozambique
guests have the opportunity to enjoy private open-air decks and pools

'kisawa' resort weaves undulating thatched-roof villas into the sand dunes of mozambique
thatched structures integrate seamlessly with the lush natural surroundings

mozambique-sand-dunes-3d-printed-bungalows-thatched-roofs-kisawa-resort-designboom-full-01

the Kisawa sanctuary is set in 300 acres of forest, beach, and sand dunes

'kisawa' resort weaves undulating thatched-roof villas into the sand dunes of mozambique
a cluster of thatched structures settling on the sand

mozambique-sand-dunes-3d-printed-bungalows-thatched-roofs-kisawa-resort-designboom-full-03

an array of textured, undulating, biophilic forms

'kisawa' resort weaves undulating thatched-roof villas into the sand dunes of mozambique
the textured facade of the natural wellness center

'kisawa' resort weaves undulating thatched-roof villas into the sand dunes of mozambique
the patio outside of the wellness center

'kisawa' resort weaves undulating thatched-roof villas into the sand dunes of mozambique
sea, sand and lush vegetation can be found all around the resort

mozambique-sand-dunes-3d-printed-bungalows-thatched-roofs-kisawa-resort-designboom-full-02

the impressive ‘domes’ of the wellness center

'kisawa' resort weaves undulating thatched-roof villas into the sand dunes of mozambique
‘our mission is to bring wilderness and wellbeing together,’ shares the Kisawa team

'kisawa' resort weaves undulating thatched-roof villas into the sand dunes of mozambique
locally made, custom furniture adorns the interior of the resort

'kisawa' resort weaves undulating thatched-roof villas into the sand dunes of mozambique
the interiors are also complemented by selected works commissioned from African and international artists

 

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‘kisawa’ resort weaves undulating thatched-roof villas into the sand dunes of mozambique
 
‘kisawa’ resort weaves undulating thatched-roof villas into the sand dunes of mozambique
 
‘kisawa’ resort weaves undulating thatched-roof villas into the sand dunes of mozambique
 
‘kisawa’ resort weaves undulating thatched-roof villas into the sand dunes of mozambique
 
‘kisawa’ resort weaves undulating thatched-roof villas into the sand dunes of mozambique
 
‘kisawa’ resort weaves undulating thatched-roof villas into the sand dunes of mozambique
 

project info: 

 

name: Kisawa Sanctuary | @kisawasanctuary
architects: Plus Design Group, MP Arquitectos
creative director: Nina Flohr for studio NJF
location: Benguerra Island, Mozambique

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