visi 88

I’m a firm believer in the collective subconscious. Every year at the beginning of December there is growing excitement at VISI HQ about what the Pantone colour of the next year will be. December 2016 was no exception.

I felt a strong leaning towards pink – because it is my all-time favourite colour – but when Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, announced Greenery as the colour for 2017 I was very happy. This vibrant green hue, inspired by nature and the great outdoors, is sure to provide us with the hope we collectively yearn for in a time of social

and political turmoil. It should satisfy our growing desire to revitalise and unite, and it symbolises the reconnection we seek to make with nature and a greater purpose.

It’s no coincidence that the majority of the buildings featured in this, our annual Design Issue, are surrounded by abundant greenery. We are proud to feature some exceptional examples of local architecture and a number of buildings that received Merit Awards in the biennial Corobrik SAIA (South African Institute of Architects) Awards.

All these buildings are excellent examples of immersive architecture, whereby the design of the structure is determined by the natural environment, such as a space-age structure in Dullstroom that clings to the slope of an unspoilt koppie, a minimalist home in a lush Cape Town suburb, and a dream house on Naval Hill in Bloemfontein that enjoys views across the city. And then there is the utterly remarkable Malapa Fossil Cave cover and viewing platform in the Cradle of Humankind, which takes the concept of touching the earth lightly to the next level.

In keeping with the green theme, we feature the revamped Glenelly Winery in Stellenbosch, where a rectangular building surrounded by lush green vines seems to jut straight out of a slope as though it were a tunnel that might lead you beneath the vines and into the soil.

It is incredible connections with the soil on which they are built that make all these structures so very special, and I feel extremely privileged to have visited most of these buildings as part of the Corobrik SAIA judging panel.

My motto for 2017 is that this is truly the time to go green.

– Sumien