When one conjures up images of Africa, vistas of unrivalled natural beauty and expansive open plains hosting dramatic migrations of enormous herds of wildebeest, zebra and antelope fill the mind.
Scenes of villages, game parks and private bushveld reserves with thatch topped buildings reflecting the innate and organic beauty of our continent typify our perceptions.
Yet, in our cities, the architectural influences reflect a myriad of foreign designs and styles. Limited smatterings of locally influenced designs are to be found, but, do not convincingly portray pride in our local heritage and regional cultures.
So why do we find limited use of African ethnic influence in our architecture? A mindset built around the availability of European, American and Asian styled building products have conspired to influence the architectural concepts being utilized. Local products currently being employed, such as grass thatch, while beautiful in appearance is, unfortunately, inherently flawed. Naturally fire-hazardous, negative health impacts, high maintenance and replacement costs, complex and lengthy installation processes are indicative of the negative impact on our selection criteria.
It is with this in mind that we designed a roofing product which is aesthetically representative of natural reed thatch but with the benefits of modern production methods, safety, improved life expectancy, reduced maintenance costs and cost effectivity.
In addition to the two reed-style roof tiles, we have designed a matching ceiling panel manufactured from vermiculite, to provide a visually appealing natural effect internally and externally.