dhk’s portfolio includes a broad range of building typologies and scales, ranging from civic and cultural buildings, shopping centres, commercial and corporate buildings, mixed use developments, hotels, business parks, eco-sensitive and sustainable structures, and the refurbishment and restoration of existing buildings.
dhk works throughout South Africa as well as across the rest of Africa with completed or active projects in countries such as Angola, Ghana, Mali, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria and the Seychelles. Further afield, dhk has worked in Italy since the 1990s, and is currently involved in projects in locations as diverse as Switzerland, USA and Columbia. dhk’s experience of working in these different locations has developed the ability to quickly assess and adapt to local conditions and collaborate with local authorities and individuals respectfully and professionally.
Significant recent projects include Cape Town’s tallest building, the 139 metre high Portside tower, for corporate clients FirstRand and Old Mutual, award-winning Newtown Junction mixed-use development in Johannesburg, the super-regional Baywest mall in Port Elizabeth, and the historic Drostdy Hotel in Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape – a collection of projects that show the breadth of work that dhk carries out.
dhk has taken a leading role in sustainability for commercial projects, since achieving the second ever 4* Green Star SA office design rating in the country in 2010, for Nedbank’s offices in Umhlanga. Recently Portside was the tallest building in South Africa (and indeed Africa) to achieve a 5* Green Star SA rating making it the greenest tower in the country.
Other key buildings have been designed for some top commercial companies including law firms and banks, renowned educational establishments such as the University of the Western Cape’s Life Sciences Building, the BMW Pavilion at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront, and several large scale retail developers.
Adding to this extensive portfolio, dhk has been involved in the renovation of some significant heritage projects such as the restoration of one of Africa’s most famous hotels, the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town, and the historic Drostdy Hotel in Graaff-Reinet. It is this commitment to design excellence across a remarkable range of work that has established dhk as one of the country’s leading design studios.
The architecture studio is led by principles, Derick Henstra and Peter Fehrsen, who take an active role in the design of projects along with directors Guy Briggs (Head of Urban Design), Renske Haller (Managing Director), Steve Peters (Technical Director), Anette Potgieter (Financial Director), Peter Stokes and Pierre Swanepoel .
This strong leadership team is backed by five associate directors, and four associates who specialise in design, technical aspects, project management and communications. A dynamic support team including architects, interior designers, project managers, technologists, sustainability experts, an in-house 3-D rendering team, graphic design, public relations, and admin support staff ensure that dhk delivers a value added holistic service.
dhk strives to produce buildings that are 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 architectural industry.
dhk believes in a holistic, integrated approach to the design of buildings. Integration of a building within its greater urban context and connection between the experiential qualities of the inside and outside spaces is elemental to dhk’s design approach thus all three disciplines consistently communicate in order to share skills and expertise.
A quest for quality and design excellence is directed by a Design Review Board that reviews all architectural projects on a weekly basis. Principles Derick Henstra and Peter Fehrsen, Managing Director of the architecture studio Renske Haller, and Head of Urban Design Guy Briggs, make up this panel of experts.
dhk’s leadership is committed to incorporating the utmost professionalism into their design approach. While interrogating and 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.
Sustainability is fundamental to dhk’s design thinking for each architectural project from 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.View Projects