Founded by Silvio Rech in 1994, joined by Lesley Carstens in 1999, the Johannesburg-based pair have been recognised for their excellence in design at the recent Safari Awards, adding to their growing clutch of awards, which include:

  • The Tatler Travel Awards 2018: Treasure Island Award 2018 for Miavana in Madagascar (Time & Tide)
  • Safari Awards 2018 (Africa):
    • Best Design:
      • Leobo Observatory Bush Villa; Chinzombo, Zambia (Time & Tide); Vumbura Plains Camp (Botswana Wilderness Safaris)
      • Chongwe River House – (3rd place) Zambia (Tide & Tide)
    • Best Family Safari Experience: Leobo Observatory Bush Villa
    • Best Safari Spa/Retreat:  Jao Camp (Botswana Wilderness Safari) and Chinzombo, Zambia (Time & Tide)
    • Most Romantic Safari Property: Chinzombo (Time & Tide)
    • Best Safari House: Leobo Observatory Bush Villa

The firm specialises in safari lodges, island getaways, luxury hotels and high-end residential projects, with most projects located around Africa. The last 25 years has seen the two develop a body of work that showcases an impressive contemporary spin on African architecture, combining local materials and techniques with a clean modernist aesthetic while maintaining a principal of holistic design. They provide turnkey projects for clients -architecture, building, project management and all décor.

“Adventure architecture” is how Rech likes to describe their innovative visions, and the cultural mix and communal effort it takes to make them real; their philosophy is based on encompassing the culture, local materials and colours of the environment surrounding a chosen site. Most projects also include the development of skills in local communities, as well as the use of local artisans – they strive to continually use local craftsmanship and know-how in their designs, adhering to their philosophy of ‘design based on nature’.

The couple’s prolific portfolio includes:

  • Miavana on Nosy Ankao, Madagascar (Time & Tide) – opened April 2017
  • House Oppenheimer
  • House Dunn
  • Vumbura Plains Camp, Botswana (Wilderness Safaris)
  • King Lewanika Lodge (Norman Carr Safaris – Time + Tide)
  • Chinzombo Safari Camp, Zambia (Norman Carr Safaris’ flagship camp)
  • Angama Mara, Kenya (Steve and Nicky Fitzgerald) – their fifth collaborative project with the Fitzgerald’s (after the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, the Grumeti River Camp, Maji Moto Tented Camp ,Tanzania and South Africa’s Makalali Bush Camp North Island, Seychelles (Wilderness Safaris))
  • Leobo Private Reserve‘s award winning ‘Observatory Bush Villa’- arguably one of the most stunning safari house in Africa (international businessman and adventurer Rory Sweet and his wife Liz)
  • The Dalrymple Pavilion, – shortlisted in the House category 2011 World Architecture Festival Awards, with its purist Modern aesthetic and traditional architectural elements
  • Randlords
  • Mombo Camp (2000) Okavango Delta, Botswana – Wilderness Safaris’ flagship camp in the Delta
  • Jao Camp (1999), Okavango Delta, (Botswana Wilderness Safari) – the Tree House (commissioned by Kingsley Mogalakwe and Dave and Cathy Kays) – the concept suggests a ‘civilised visit to tribal Africa and the old-fashioned safari’
  • Casa Silvio & Lesley (1999-2002), Westcliff, Johannesburg, South Africa (private house)
  • North Island, Seychelles (1998-2008) (2016 – 2018)
  • Lake Manyara Tented Camp (1997) Tanzania – Conservation Corporation Africa (CCA)
  • Grumeti River Bush Camp (1997) Tanzania – Conservation Corporation Africa (CCA)
  • Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, Tanzania (1994) – Conservation Corporation Africa (CCA)
  • Makalali Bush Camp (1996), South Africa
  • Lutopi Bush Camp (1994) South Africa