The Outpost Lodge is situated is situated in the remote northern-most part of the Kruger National Park. The lodge consists of twelve freestanding units, a main building with reception, dining and lounge areas, and an outdoor swimming pool.
The idea was to set the architecture subtly into the landscape, providing certain comforts and luxuries, while opening the guests to an intense and direct experience with the natural surroundings. The buildings are passive, simply serving as a framework to allow nature to come to the fore.
On arrival, visitors are confronted by a long wall, which is entered through a small opening. On entry, visitors experience is an explosion of view, with 300 kilometers of the Kruger National Park spread out beneath them. The 12 units are scattered along the long, narrow site, with a one kilometer long raised teak walkway connecting them. The decks and units are raised off the ground which leaves the ground below undisturbed, and keeps visitors at a safe distance from the wildlife below.
The individual units are like tree-house like platforms with most of the exterior walls being move-able. The exterior walls are made up of separate layers of canvas and mosquito nets which can be rolled down. The units are orientated and positioned in such a way to allow them to be completely private even with all of the screens rolled up. Cooling is achieved by an environmentally sustainable water based air-conditioning system.
The design and construction methods were specifically tailored and selected to suit the previously unskilled labour force from the local tribe. The buildings were easy to assemble with a limited material palette of locally sourced timbers, steel beams, concrete floors sealed with beeswax polish, and pre-painted corrugated steel roofs. The elements were pre-fabricated in Johannesburg and shipped into the site.
Wallpaper Magazine Best Safari Lodge, 2003