WINNER: REED SIMPSON CONSTRUCTION CC, "AMMAZULU AFRICAN PALACE"
Ammazulu African Palace, a visionary lodge celebrating the cultural heritage of KwaZulu-Natal, has risen on the edge of the Kloof Gorge, overlooking the Krantzkloof Nature Reserve.
An internal walkway leads to a view over the gorge. Hand-carved doors and windows, collected and recycled from all over South Africa, have been restored and reused. There are windows from the Mariannhill Monastery and a staircase from the old Greenacres building. Door frames from the Old Mutual colonial building create part of the entrance.
The main entrance boasts mosaic and beaded sculptures, such as a colourful, two storey palm tree fountain and a filigree guinea-fowl feature as well as two imposing handcrafted stone towers with cycads growing out of the top. Often the site was referred to as building an ark, one just has to look at the roof to understand why. The roof construction was a mammoth undertaking with the roof line taking on a radius in excess of 50m on the external edge and 42 meters on the internal edge.
The collaboration of client, architect and builder has culminated in a “dream come true”.