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Lebala Lodge – Welgevonden Game Reserve
Vaalwater district, Limpopo

Michael RAYNE: Project Architect

Type:Game lodge
2011SAIA L Award for Architecture


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24°24'29.42" S 27°49'23.07" E

A sickle shaped, beautifully treed, rocky koppie forms the backdrop to the site for Lebala Lodge, creating a stage with 270 degree panoramic views across expansive grassy African plains within the Welgevonden Reserve.

The design attempts to create a lodge which is a 'Modern African Village'. It aims to create places of cozy escape while still incorporating the views. This is achieved by designing the buildings as interlinked but independent structures. Each independent space is partially enclosed on three sides while the softer fourth side folds away, opening to the view.

The Main Lodge is designed around a central cooking kitchen which celebrates the art that food preparation and eating has become. On either side of the kitchen is a dining area and lounge area, which are treated as cozy enclaves into which to retreat. Each one of these ‘rooms’ has a wood burning fireplace to enhance the ambiance on cold winter nights. These spaces are linked to outdoor covered terraces with fold-away doors, blurring the distinction between inside and outside space.

The extensive timber decks and covered terraces lead on to a swimming pool with an 360 Degree infinity edge from which one can enjoy the view. A Boma is conveniently located adjacent to the main living areas for fireside evening encounters.

The bedrooms are nestled at the base of the treed rocky outcrop. They are positioned to ensure complete privacy facing the expansive grass plains and distant views.

(Michael Scholes)

Click here to view a brochure. (9.73 MB)

All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.