South African designer Porky Hefer supersizes his signature ‘nests’ to create an off-grid, hand-made, organic lodge. The secluded African retreat, located in the Namib Tsaris conservancy, is the designer’s first new build house and has been announced as the winner of best new private house in the 2019 Wallpaper* Awards.
125km away from the nearest town, the private lodge is almost hidden within the surrounding landscape. Thatching made from reeds sourced from the banks of the Zambezi River in northern Namibia provide natural insulation whilst creating a barely-there silhouette. The bricks and steel frame were handmade on site.
Throughout the project Porky Hefer embraces Africa and the skills that are readily available indigenously. The nest is filled with custom-build furniture and decorative elements that reflect the value both of local materials and local techniques. The layout comprises three en-suite bedrooms and a living area featuring a sunken lounge with leather banquettes.
Hefer was inspired by the labyrinth-like nests made by the local sociable weaver birds. These nests can house hundreds of birds, who gather in different ‘rooms’ depending on the temperatures. Outer rooms are used for daytime shade offering cool spaces, and warm, inner areas when night-time temperatures plummet.
Handmade from eco-friendly materials, Hefer’s nests have become an instantly recognisable trademark associated with the designer. In 2018 Hefer translated this signature reference into oversized seating pods depicting endangered species, commissioned for the Leonardo Dicaprio Foundation, and made of recycled materials by artisans in Cape Town.
Wallpaper* Design Awards
Now in its 15th edition, the Wallpaper* Design Awards 2019 celebrates the world’s most pulse-raising and life-enhancing places, products, people and phenomena. The February 2019 ‘design awards’ issue is split into two parts: the first covers categories devised by Wallpaper* and its extended global family of contributors, writers and curators — ranging from best roofscape to best repurpose and best future vision. The second section comprises the most prestigious honors: 11 judges’ awards selected by an esteemed international panel.
As seen on Designboom