Earthworld Architects implement sustainable strategies in the design and construction of their buildings and interiors.
Braam de Villiers of Earthworld Architects is inspired by buildings that are simple but provocative, and which respect the natural environment. These are also the kinds of buildings that his practice designs.
Established in October 2000 by Braam and award-winning architect André Eksteen, Earthworld has designed numerous standout buildings in South Africa that are premised on sustainability and context. These include the commanding low-energy I-Cat Eco-Factory in Pretoria and the interactive Foghound Coffee Shop in Midrand, which is constructed from shipping containers. Both structures achieved commendations in the AfriSam-SAIA awards, which recognise outstanding sustainable architecture and innovation, while another project – the modernist Centenary Building at the University of Pretoria – won awards from the South African Institute of Architects and Pretoria Institute for Architecture. ‘African designers are rising to the occasion,’ says Braam. ‘Although our budgets are small, we are producing sustainable buildings out of necessity and not out of novelty.’
The most common feature requested by Earthworld’s clients is a photovoltaic (solar electric) system, to take them off the grid. ‘Our clients are demanding more and more sustainable solutions,’ says Braam. ‘Together we discover innovative processes.
Earthworld is committed to implementing sustainable strategies on all levels in their builds – economic, environmental and social –and are working on a number of exciting projects that prompt the practice to provide answers to problems like ‘How to pre-cast 300 living units?’ and ‘How to manufacture a building out of a machine?’.