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The Design Story of Cheetah Plains

In the heart of the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, bordering the world-renowned Kruger National Park, is luxury safari lodge, Cheetah Plains. Notable for its modernist sensibility, raw materiality, and carbon-negative operation, the story of Cheetah Plains now embarks on a new chapter in Venice at SAOTA, ARRCC, and Poliform’s LIGHT SPACE LIFE exhibition, where it is currently being showcased.

Architectural consciousness finds its expression in Cheetah Plains, seamlessly blending with its environment to frame the beauty of nature.
ARRCC Director and Interior Architect, Jon Case explains, “The buildings and interiors are consciously restrained but layered in form, detail, and materiality. They create a sensory platform to experience the African bush in its purest form.”

The architecture exists to enhance the experience of the outdoors – not to mimic it, but to complement it. Robust off-shutter concrete and rough stone walls ground the buildings into the landscape with expansive cantilevered roof structures floating over the landscape allowing for views to remain uninterrupted in all directions. The materials are resilient allowing themselves to be shaped and aged by the environment over time.
ARRCC Director, Jon Case says, “Nature acted as our reference throughout the creation of the interior design pieces, in tone, colour, material and form, these items were then crafted and shaped by hand, there was no reference or reliance upon mass production, machined goods.”

A sense of African-ness, ever-present in the environment, is abstracted into the Interiors and is reflected in the materials, textures, rhythms and forms. From hand-blown glass chandeliers to individually-packed indigenous rock, every facet of Cheetah Plains reflects the craftsmanship of skilled artisans, inspired by the innate aesthetic of the land. The interiors meld effortlessly with the architectural design, introducing a soft, textured touch while preserving a rustic charm.

“The design explores the creative tension between our contemporary human existence and the primal natural world. Through the architecture and interior design, we strive to forge connections and contrasts that enable meaningful encounters with nature.” explains Stefan Antoni, SAOTA Principal and Founder.

SAOTA, ARRCC & Poliform’s exhibition LIGHT SPACE LIFE, part of the sixth edition of the architecture biennial exhibition titled Time Space Existence, is organized, and hosted by the European Cultural Centre in Venice. The exhibition aims to offer an immersive experience, allowing visitors to see Cheetah Plains through the concepts of LIGHT SPACE and LIFE, whilst delving into the intricate relationship between architecture, nature, and human existence.


Exhibition Information

When: Until 26 November 2023, 10:00 – 18:00, closed on Tuesdays.
Where: Room C11, Palazzo Bembo, Riva del Carbon, Venezia, Italy