witklipfontein eco lodge by GLH architects emerges from the earth in south africa
 

witklipfontein eco lodge by GLH architects emerges from the earth in south africa

overlooking the plains of south african‘s free state region, and disappearing into the surrounding nature, is a new eco lodge designed by GLH architects. combining traditional vernacular building techniques with a contemporary design, the intervention provides a unique bush living experience that also respects the environment. 

witklipfontein eco lodge by GLH architects emerges from the earth in south africa designboom

the building emerging from the earth

all images courtesy of GLH architects

 

 

to ensure minimal impact on the landscape, GLH architects in fact lifted the ground and ‘slipped’ the eco lodge into the contours of the site. the project also used vernacular building techniques, many of which had been lost to quick and easy cement-based construction. composed of heavy thermal mass walls, floors and roof, the raw use of materials brings a warm feeling to the lodge, while large openable glazing reconnects occupants to nature.

witklipfontein eco lodge by GLH architects emerges from the earth in south africa designboom

the eco lodge opens up to the north

 

 

with its daily variance of 20 degrees, the climate in the free state region lends itself to the use of thermal mass instead of mechanical air-conditioning. by using thick stone walls, earth walls (made of rammed earth, adobe and sandbags) and a green roof, the indoor temperature can be levelled throughout the year. other innovations and unique features include an almost full cement-free construction, a shutter system to regulate heat, recycled granite floors, a subterranean dome, natural pools, a waste water treatment plant, solar water heating and photovoltaic panels, homemade swedish paint, scaffolding plank floors, and earth and straw plaster. 

witklipfontein eco lodge by GLH architects emerges from the earth in south africa designboom

the project features natural rock pools

 

 

witklipfontein eco lodge aims to embody modern sustainability and is packed with simple and forgotten design and building techniques, making it an example in the field of green architecture. the result is a unique building that disappears into the surrounding nature, fauna and flora. the project was presented with the 2019 SAPOA innovation award, and the 2019 GIFA award for excellence & president’s award.

witklipfontein eco lodge by GLH architects emerges from the earth in south africa designboom

merging with the surrounding nature

witklipfontein eco lodge by GLH architects emerges from the earth in south africa designboom

the structure weaves into the landscape

witklipfontein eco lodge by GLH architects emerges from the earth in south africa designboom

the western façade 

witklipfontein eco lodge by GLH architects emerges from the earth in south africa designboom

the entrance to the lodge

 

witklipfontein eco lodge by GLH architects emerges from the earth in south africa designboom

the reading nook

witklipfontein eco lodge by GLH architects emerges from the earth in south africa designboom

the project aims to reinvent the vernacular

witklipfontein eco lodge by GLH architects emerges from the earth in south africa designboom

blurring the boundaries between inside and outside

witklipfontein eco lodge by GLH architects emerges from the earth in south africa designboom

the dome

 

witklipfontein eco lodge by GLH architects emerges from the earth in south africa designboom

axonometric view

 

 

project info:

 

project name: witklipfontein eco lodge

location: witklipfontein game farm, 519 a schoemansdrift rd, vredefort dome, free state, south africa

clients: xavier and carine huyberechts

architect: xavier and damien huyberechts, GLH architects

completed: 2016 – 2018

area: 4305.56 ft2 (400 m2)

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: lynne myers | designboom

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