Hillside Suite at Singita Sasakwa Lodge

Project Details

  • City: Tanzania
  • Year: 2019
  • Client: Singita
  • Discipline: Architecture
  • Sector: Hospitality

Hillside Suite at Singita Sasakwa Lodge is situated in Tanzania, two degrees south of the equator. It is part of the Grumeti Reserve, a private concession within the Serengeti National Park.

GAPP Architects was appointed, along with interior designers Cécile & Boyd, to undertake the conversion. Quite early a design philosophy was developed to retain the existing masonry aesthetic on the more public approach side from the north, while employing an open and contemporary timber-clad steel and frameless glass language in the more private areas, embracing and celebrating the prime panoramic Serengeti views to the south.

The existing elevated ground floor was converted into a living area, and a new bedroom suite with pool and decks was inserted below. The complexities of the existing reinforced concrete substructure entailed the new lower level being offset from the upper, which in turn extended the narrow existing balcony at the upper level and provided a generous upper terrace finished in local slate, serviced by a custom-designed concealed stormwater drainage system. This is complemented by bespoke steel rainwater goods at the upper roofs and a unique steel standing-seam roof fringing the terrace, all with an earth-coloured steel-patina finish.

A frameless glass envelope at both levels (with concealed blinds for light and privacy control) and frameless balustrades throughout ensure immersion in the view. Care was taken throughout the design to minimise the building’s footprint, both environmentally and visually. A narrow construction window and the challenges of working in this remote area of Tanzania were surmounted by the professional team and contractors to deliver a first-class building which conforms with the client’s ongoing One-Planet and Forest Stewardship Council commitments.

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