This thesis focuses on the design of a lodge and all its components, which include accommodation, exhibition spaces, conference facilities, restaurants, public services, fishing dams and a certain amount of cottages. Regarding accommodation, the proposed lodge would be able to provide for large groups of people, but would still adhere to the more private needs of those individuals who prefer to travel alone. Mkhonda Lodge and Educational farm is situated on farm Madola outside the town of Piet Retief, Mpumalanga. Piet Retief is integrated as part of a major tourist route that connects KwaZulu-Natal with Swaziland and the Kruger National Park. This means that a considerable amount of tourists inevitably pass through the town without adequate available accommodation or restaurants to satisfy their needs. Sustainable building practices and appropriate technologies guide the design process in terms of the use of local materials and labour; construction techniques; and resource and waste management. Local labor plays an important role in an effort to educate the local community. All the buildings are predominantly constructed of straw bales which are used as infill between the timber pole post-and-beam roof structures. Building elements are standardized to create a modular system which adds to the idea of keeping the design simple and easy to construct. The design strives to create spatial balance and harmony for interior and exterior spaces, environmentally friendly yet functional infrastructure and materials, low maintenance, ergonomic solutions, and respect for our environment and resources. The ideal is that visitors are educated in an informal way through experiencing unconventional construction methods and design approaches. In essence, this thesis continuously emphasizes respect for the site, its users through generally integrating a more holistic approach.
Dissertation (MArch (Prof))--University of Pretoria, 2006.