Tuesday, 20 March 2018 11:24

Michaelis Boyd Associates completes work on Sandibe – a new sustainable safari lodge

    Michaelis Boyd Associates (MB), the London-based architecture and design practice, has completed work on Sandibe, a new sustainable safari lodge in the Okavango Delta in northwest Botswana.

    Sandibe brings an iconic new destination for the region and sets a brand-new high-reaching standard for safari lodge design.

    The focus for MB was to create a design with a lighter, more sustainable footprint. The lodge is constructed using natural materials local to the area. No concrete has been used in overground construction, while a solar panel farm supplies all of Sandibe’s electricity.

    Demonstrating MB’s design focus on flow, light and space and capturing the tranquility of the region, Sandibe’s design shows a clear move away from the typically dark interiors of traditional safari lodges. MB’s design is luxurious, sculptural and clean, from the 12 elevated guest suites to the sweeping timber ribs in the main areas leading to the dramatic curved bar.

    Nestled amongst a forest canopy of wild palms and fig trees with unrestricted views of the shimmering Delta, the lodge currently consists of a main building surrounded by 12 private nest guest suites where guests can relax and enjoy the views from an open-plan, airy bedroom and lounge area. The suites, with their striking shingle-covered design, are constructed from timber and are inspired by pangolins’ and weavers’ nests.

    Each suite is lifted from the ground level to achieve a feeling of being in the trees and to make the most of the views. Carefully situated into the landscape, they are organised as a sequence of internal and external spaces with lounging areas, private outdoor dining and a private plunge pool and, to provide warmth in colder days; each is fit with a wood burner.

    Guests arrive at a drop-off point not far away from the building, but initially there is no sign of habitation. They are then led through a bower woven from saplings and laths to a threshold, which provides the first glimpse of the lodge, nestled between the trees.

    Guests are drawn up the stairs as they enter the main lodge building between segments of shingled skin, arriving on a dining terrace about 1.5m above the ground. Turning left, they ascend another half flight of stairs to the bar and lounge with its sweeping timber ribs and dramatic curved bar. This leads out to a walkway though an old ficus tree ending in a spectacular viewing platform where guests can enjoy unrivalled views over the Delta. The forest floor level is dominated by a striking boma (firepit) formed from oversized wooden logs.

    About Michaelis Boyd Associates

    Michaelis Boyd Associates is a design-led architecture practice that has earned a reputation for simple, elegant architecture with a creative approach and an emphasis on both sustainable and environmentally-sound building techniques.

    Founded by Alex Michaelis and Tim Boyd in Notting Hill, London, in 1995, the practice began with a primary focus on the luxury residential sector where they gained a strong reputation not only for contemporary additions to historic houses, but also new-build residential projects.

    Michaelis Boyd’s portfolio encompasses projects ranging from residential new-build and renovation, to hotels, luxury private members’ clubs, restaurants and bars, for clients in the UK and around the world. Projects include the interiors for Battersea Power Station’s new residences, which will be completed in 2018, the iconic Groucho Club in London, El Pastor – a taqueria in London’s Borough Market, the Williamsburg Hotel in Brooklyn, New York, Soho Farmhouse, Oxfordshire and the Kimpton De Witt Hotel in Amsterdam.

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