RHINO POST LODGE
Nestled in the heart of the Kruger National Park on the banks of the Mutlumuvi riverbed lies a place where one can truly soak in all the unique and beautiful features of the bushveld; the call of guinea fowl in the distance, the soft rustle of the trees as the wind blows and that unique and revitalising smell just before a thunderstorm.
The design team identified animal "pathways" running through the site as a theme. Hence the central facility was designed as a spread out series of elements along a "walkway" running parallel to the river bed. This approach allows increased privacy at each space and dramatises the elongated experience of the riverbed.
The lounge has a totally open feel, with only canvas drop-down blinds on the river bed side. In contrast to the openness, the solid gabion back wall is lined with expressed elements such as the reading area, pub and wine cellar.
The dining room is nestled amongst a grouping of Mopani trees, which creates a useful outdoor dining alternative beneath the tree canopy. Planning of the space resulted in a high volume to match the adjacent trees and increase the spacial interaction with the river bed. The solid rear wall is geometrically expressed and sits below the roof line to allow a transparent experience from within and a view through the building from behind (increasing the site lines of the river bed from the entrance to the lodge).The glass plane between the wall and the roof, makes one read the wall independently as a repeated horizontal plane matching that of the river bed in the background.
Each luxury suite is exquisitely decorated and includes a bedroom and lounge with impressive views of the riverbed from the bathroom, outdoor shower and decked patio.
The simplistic and unobtrusive nature of the design serves to enhance the unique feel of the natural bush in the area. The suites are rectilinear in plan and triangular in elevation, the exposed A-frame gumpole trusses adding to the overall feel and transparency of the three-dimensional forms.
MATERIALS TEXTURES AND FINISHING
Rhino Post Camp has been specially designed to have minimal impact on the environment. All structures built within the private concession area had to be demountable and have a minimum effect on the landscape; hence the structures are stilted gumpole with infill materials in canvas, gauze netting, glass and dry stack gabion stone walls. Low energy lighting and solar assisted power production were also included to enhance the sustainable nature of the design.
Architect: Charles Taylor Architect (032-946 3853)
Client: Isibindi Africa (035 474 1473) (www.isibindiafrica.co.za)
QS: Brian Heineberg & Associates (011 784 0870)
Project Manager: Duncan Rhodes (011 784 3480)