Profile

dhk has a firmly established reputation as a design led multi-disciplinary company which incorporates architecture, urban design and interior design.

More than 130 people contribute to the success of the company across these three disciplines making dhk one of the largest architectural practices in the country. dhk’s integrated approach to design in the built environment, coupled with innovative and cost effective design solutions, has garnered international recognition with projects spanning across four continents.

With a portfolio of work spanning nearly three decades, dhk collaborates with some of the largest and most influential developers and corporate clients in the country and has been involved in some of the most significant public buildings in Cape Town such as the airport, convention centre, and the station, since the company’s inception in 1998.

dhk’s extensive portfolio of work covers the full spectrum of architecture and the built environment, from the city scale and urban development, to the individual building and its immediate environment, and the interior spaces and user experience. A consistent track record and steadfast commitment to design excellence has earned dhk numerous architectural awards and the company has won several international design competitions.

dhk is passionate about its people, both those they work for and with. This passion inspires an honest, driven and energetic approach to design that brings the human element to the spaces and buildings that dhk creates.

Company

Derick Henstra established his own architectural practice in 1983, soon after completing his architectural studies. The practice grew in size and reputation over the years, with several significant projects in and around Cape Town. dhk was formed when contemporaries KCVR joined forces with derick henstra architects in 1998, and has since established itself as one of the leading practices in South Africa.

Founding partners Derick Henstra and Peter Fehrsen have worked together for nearly 20 years, and they lead the practice which has grown to a large multi-disciplinary company with offices in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth, and projects across the continent and beyond.

The company is headed by a team of passionate industry experts. Derick and Peter lead the architecture studio, alongside a dedicated board of directors that includes Managing Director Renske Haller, Technical Director Steve Peters, Financial Director Anette Potgieter, Peter Stokes, Head of Urban Design Guy Briggs and Pierre Swanepoel.

The directors are backed by a strong management team of five associate directors and nine associates. The management is supported by a large team spread over three offices and including architects, architectural technologists, sustainability experts, as well as in-house 3-D rendering experts, graphic design, public relations, and administrative staff who ensure that dhk delivers a professional service. A design review board consisting of four of the company directors meets once a week to overview the architecture projects to ensure the output of the best design possible.

The urban design studio, which is headed by director Guy Briggs, includes a specialised team of architects, landscape architects and urban designers, who work closely with the architecture studio in order to create a “cross pollination” approach.

Likewise, the interior design studio, operates under the same roof as dhk’s architecture and urban design teams, in order to provide shared expertise. The interior studio is led by Managing Director Trevor Shapiro, Financial Director Fiona Bubear, Design Director Guido Tagge and Project Director Adele Maritz and supported by a team of highly skilled interior designers, project managers, architectural technologists, 3D specialists and administrative staff.

At over 130 strong the dhk team is consistently dedicated to achieving the highest industry standards.

Approach

dhk believes in a holistic, integrated approach to design. The urban design, architecture and interior design teams consistently communicate across the disciplines in order to share experience, skills and expertise.  Integration of a building within its greater urban context and connection between the experiential qualities of the inside and outside spaces is fundamental to dhk’s design approach.

High standards, dedication and steadfast commitment to design quality are evident in dhk’s vast portfolio of locally and internationally recognised work. dhk strives to produce benchmarks for design excellence that incorporate international design influences and technical developments, while considering economic realities, to ensure fully grounded designs. This forward thinking approach has gained dhk a reputation as leaders in the architecture industry.

dhk’s leadership is committed to incorporating the utmost professionalism into their design approach. While interpreting clients’ requirements accurately and appropriately, and delivering projects on time and budget, dhk also brings a fresh dynamism and innovation to the result, in order to provide more than just a building but a living space. In-house skills such as 3D renderings and graphic design bring clarity to the communication of design ideas.

Passion for people drives a team approach to dhk’s project delivery and management. Staff work collaboratively with shared aims and objectives, which creates a dynamic and energetic working environment where innovative ideas can be born and nurtured. Sustainability is fundamental to dhk’s design thinking from project inception to final delivery. While showing leadership in the area of sustainability in architecture with several accolades and certified Green Star SA ratings, dhk encourages passive design, “green” technologies, energy and water savings, sustainable materials as a basis for the design of every project no matter how big or small.

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