14. Februar 2020
Suspended on the horizon where the earth curves away from view and the sky reaches down to touch the sand, lies Sossusvlei Desert Lodge. Designed by South African–based Fox Browne Creative, in partnership with Architect Jack Alexander, a supreme emphasis has been placed on the surreal desert landscape in which the lodge is set
The architectural gestures are simple and yet extremely sensitive to the desert. By using the form of the buildings to draw a series of geometric lines in the sand, the glass, rock work and steel pavilions form a counterpoint to the organic, sweeping curves and natural shapes of the surrounding hills and sand dunes.
The ambition for the designers was threefold: create an extraordinary experience for the visitor; design structures that are in harmony with their natural setting and minimise the human impact on this sensitive environment. All three of these have been done through the intentional repurposing of the original 1990’s buildings to craft a contemporary, yet timeless and undeniably appropriate series of spaces – all punctuated with natural materials and a sense of desert-inspired luxury.
Externally, the roofs have been clad in PV panels allowing the buildings to harness the harsh natural environment (where temperatures often reach over 50 degrees Celsius), and use the sun to create enough energy to ensure the lodge is entirely self-sustained. The electricity generated is then used to power a series of environmentally responsive air-conditioning and water recycling systems to ensure the lodge positively affects the environment from which its design was derived.
Fox Browne, also responsible for the interior design, sought to reinvigorate and transform the guest experience by blending in with the natural landscape with the addition of a number of luxurious features. They reinvented the food and beverage offering as well as did the hospitality training of the staff.
Debra Fox, co-founder and owner of Fox Browne Creative says of their involvement, “We are immensely proud of what we have accomplished as a team providing a luxurious guest experience while minimising impact on the extremely, sensitive and natural environment.”