© Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal 2017

Uppink

DICKS CONSTRUCTION CC, UPPINK LODGE

The lodge consists of a large central family unit containing kitchen and dining areas, main lounge and swimming pool platform. Two separate private bedroom wings are located on each side of the main unit and are linked by timber decks.  The complex stretches across the natural hillside that slopes down to the main dam at Mziki and forms a wide elevation that blends into the tree line. Flat concrete roofs, with localised thatched areas over the bedrooms help the lodge blend into the natural bush.

The abundance of soft rock required extensive excavations for wide strip footings that carry the foundation brickwork to ground floor level.  Simple steel columns and carefully positioned brick fin-walls support the concrete roof slabs above, allowing for large open spaces to be created by sliding away glass doors.  Once open the living areas flow out naturally onto the timber decks that overlook the dam.  Extensive stone cladding was used to create the “earth lodge” effect.

There were many difficulties to overcome with the construction of this project.  Personnel had to be transported in daily.  Water was a major problem and at times needed to be carted onto the site as the use of dam water was not allowed.  No large machinery could be used due to access restrictions and finding local skills to complete the project with the finishes that relate to a lodge was challenging.  Also all share block rules had to be imposed strictly.