A Peaceful Weekend Home In Zimbabwe’s Matobo Hills

Khyetitshe-Weekend home Matopos Zimbabwe Africa Travel

 

Matobo also known as Matopos in the southern region of Zimbabwe is an area of outstanding natural beauty, known for its imposing gravity-defying granite formations, balancing rock formations created by the gradual erosion of the area’s granite plateau. These formations form the Matobo National Hills a part of the Matobo National Park. The Matobo Hills are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as the area is recognised for the highest concentration of prehistoric rock paintings in Southern Africa. It is also the historical land of King Mzilikazi and his son Lobengula. For lovers of wildlife the Matobo National Park is also home to significant populations of black eagles and black and white rhino. And it is in these picture perfect surrounds located just outside the Park that you will find a home aptly called Khayelitshe, which is the Ndebele word for “house in stone”. Khayelitshe is the weekend home of Beks and Sophia Ndlovu and their three children. The family who live nearby in Zimbabwe’s second city Bulawayo escape to the Matobo Hills most weekends for peace existence away from the demands of busy and digital lives. I came acrosS the home on a feature in the South African design magazine VISI.

 

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Serpentine Gallery’s Summer Pavilion Designed By Francis Kéré

 

The Summer Pavilion at the Serpentine Gallery in London has become a seasonal design highlight designed by the likes of Frank Gehry, Bjarke Ingels, Herzog & de Meuron and the late Zaha Hadid. This year the Summer Pavilion is designed by Francis Kéré, the architect from Burkina Faso who is known for his innovative thought-provoking, interactive and colourful installations. The Summer Pavilion is an open structure where visitors can sit, order food from the food cafe, as well as playing host to a programme of events throughout the summer season.

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Africa Travel Mhondoro Game Lodge Spotlights African Design

 

Mhondoro Game Lodge in Welgevonden Reserve, South Africa opened in early 2016, and seeks to move beyond being just another luxury Africa travel bush destination. Designed to give guests a seamless experience of luxury interiors and bushveld landscape Mhondoro Game Lodge combines cutting-edge architecture with some of the best in African design interior inspiration. The Mhondoro Game Lodge was created by interior designer Myriam Vogel who co-owns the lodge with her husband Frank.

 

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Eva Sonaike FALOMO Collection Inspired By African Architecture

African inspired textiles and fabrics - Eva Sonaike - FALOMO Collection
London- based textile design studio, Eva Sonaike unveiled FALOMO, their latest textile collection at Maison & Object. Featuring a soft spring-fresh colour palette of lilacs, pinks and greys accentuated with bold purple and green hues, the Falomo collection exudes modern African interior design style and is inspired by mid-century African architecture from the late 1940’s. Also referred to as ‘Tropical Modernism’, the architectural style combined western building styles with local building traditions.
[Main image credit: FALOMO collection – Eva Sonaike]
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Contemporary African Architecture Tradition and Modernity In Libya

The Libya Design Cultural Centre comprises a dynamic group of technicians, designers, craftsmen and builders who utilise all aspects of design, from old, new and futuristic concepts that respect the cultural context within which they work and apply them to their specific projects. The group’s work encompasses a diverse range of disciplines including architecture, graphic design, animation, urban design, furniture, product design, photography and research.
[Main image credit: Tripoli Residence – Libya Design Cultural Centre]
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Contemporary African Architecture Designs For Growing African Cities

With the world’s attention on the schoolgirl abductions in Chibok, Nigeria, the right for all to an education has once again been brought to the forefront of global consciousness. It was therefore quite touching to see the Makoko Floating School Project, designed by Architect, Design and Urbanism practice, NLÉ, nominated for the Design Museum’s Designs of the Year Award 2014 in the architecture category. Although it did not win, the Makoko Floating School Project has been heralded as one of the standout projects from the list of nominees, a reflection of NLÉs commitment to providing contemporary African architecture design solutions that respond to the specific needs of Africa’s growing, urban cities, and in this instance helping to make education accessible no matter the environmental challenges faced.
[Image credit: Makoko Floating School Project – NLÉ]
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Engaging Spaces And Developing Contemporary African Architecture

Diébédo Francis Kéré is a pioneering German-based architect, whose work seeks to bring together the best of African and European architectural methods. Born and raised in Burkina Faso, upon completing school the architect was awarded a scholarship to Germany where he initially studied as a supervisor in the context of development aid. After a period of apprenticeship Diébédo Francis then went on to study architecture at the Technische Universität Berlin, before founding his practice, Kéré Architecture. Having also founded a not-for-profit organisation, Schulbausteine für Gando, loosely translated as ‘Bricks for Gando’, upon graduation Diébédo Francis returned home to Gando, the village he was born in, to share what he had learnt with his local community. Through Schulbausteine für Gando, Diébédo Francis has been able to raise the funds needed to help invest in developing Gando.
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Contemporary Architecture In Africa Villaggio II Ghana

In an example of contemporary architecture in Africa Villaggio II, one of Accra’s premium residential developments was shortlisted for the 2012 Best Tall Building Awards, held by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Completed in 2011, the main tower of the development is an imposing block-like structure that stands at 30 storeys high and is the tallest structure of its kind in Ghana and the West African region. The Villaggio II complex was designed by UK based architects, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, and comprises four buildings containing 200 apartments, an office and retail space plus a restaurant and gym. The Tower is characterised by a hard to miss, colourful facade that was inspired by traditional Kente fabrics and makes it a local landmark. Villaggio II was designed to cater to the needs of Ghana’s growing middle class and professionals, as well as an increasing number of returnees.
[Image credit: Villaggio II – Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
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Contemporary African Architecture Hilton Windhoek Hotel

One of the main features on MSN UK this morning, was the World Architecture News Hotel of the Year Shortlist, and amongst the chosen was a contemporary African architecture entry, the ultra modern, and quite industrialised looking, Hilton Windhoek Hotel. Situated in the centre of the Namibian city, Windhoek, the Hilton Windhoek Hotel was designed by Wasserfall Munting Architects; a local architectural practice that was founded in 2004 by Jaco Wasserfall and Paul Munting.
[Image credit: Hilton Windhoek Hotel – Wasserfall Munting Architects via World Architecture News]
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Contemporary South African Architecture And Interior Design

Happily sitting with the curtains or blinds open long into the night I find lingering by a window gazing at the twinkling lights of the city at night, or snatching glimpses of the world going about its day is one of life’s simple pleasures. And is probably the reason that when it comes to contemporary architectural features; an expanse of glass giving the illusion of having no walls, just floor to ceiling windows in the form of movable glass doors is a dream feature. Opened or closed as you wish, glass walls are a stunning feature that work to seamlessly blend exterior and interior living spaces, opening up the interior by letting in amounts of natural light and capitalising on magnificent panoramic views if you are lucky enough to have them. Although some disagree with me, this is a feature that is well suited to hot climates where interiors call for airyness and natural cooling systems that come with rolling back the doors to allow the cool breezes to waft through whilst enjoying the night air. Being able to completely open up the walls allows you to fully enjoy and interact with your living space. It was the abundance of glass and skylights that grabbed my attention whilst perusing the online portfolio of Okha, a leading South African interior design company, who specialise in creating the kind of covetable homes gracing the pages of glossy lifestyle mags.
[Image credit: First Crescent – Okha]
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