The dhk Group is an established, full-service architectural practice competing successfully at the highest level of the profession. As an integrated Group we offer Architectural, Urban Design and Interior Design consulting services under the company brands of: dhk Architects; dhk Urban Design and dhk thinkspace respectively. Through this configuration - and operating as a multi-disciplinary, design-based firm - we are able to offer our clients a comprehensive service utilising our in-house skills and talents to add value to the product we deliver to our clients.
As a dynamic company our track record spans some 30 years over which time we have built a credible reputation for innovative, yet cost-effective designs, designs which have earned us several auspicious awards and ongoing international recognition.
Each company within the Group is independent and complementary and operates predominantly from a single premises in Cape Town. In addition we have an expanding regional Gauteng office in Johannesburg, Melrose Arch and consortium offices elsewhere in Africa including the Seychelles. The dhk Group has been working in Italy for the last 17 years. More recently dhk has been involved in numerous projects throughout Africa, in countries including Mauritius, the Seychelles, Tanzania, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana. Our experience of working in these varied locations means we have learnt to quickly assess and adapt to local conditions and collaborate with local authorities and individuals respectfully and professionally.
The dhk Group is active across the full spectrum of architecture, from the creation of new buildings and the refurbishment and restoration of existing structures to the design of urban and interior design projects. These projects include hotels and leisure complexes, retail units and shopping centres, residential developments, public and institutional buildings, industrial buildings, business parks, eco-sensitive and sustainable buildings, medical buildings and facilities, educational buildings, and international waterfront and recreational developments.
Although the architectural and interior design services offered are independent, there are a number of benefits to choosing the integrated services of architecture and interior design from the dhk Group:
- Integration - an integrated design and management approach;
- Coordination - shared office space leading to better spatial and services coordination;
- Collaboration - personnel working collaboratively and with shared aims and objectives allows smooth and effective transition of information between architect and designer;
- Design Philosophy - we share the same design philosophy so there will be no design conflict.
dhk Architects + Urban Design is lead by six Directors, Derick Henstra (group executive chairman), Peter Fehrsen, Anette Potgieter, Renske Haller, Peter Stokes & Steve Peters.
As the leadership team they focus on the strategic, company and client liaison aspects with Derick and Peter Fehrsen focusing on design; Anette on financial management; Renske, Peter Stokes & Steve Peters on project delivery. In turn, the Executive Directors are supported by two Associate Directors and six Associates.
The practice operates a team approach to project delivery, with each team being led by a Director or Associate Director. Teams are structured and managed to deliver projects from inception to completion. We recognise the vital contribution every staff member makes in the balance of a team therefore we select team members based on their individual skills and level of experience. dhk Architects and Urban Design currently employs some 80 salaried architectural, urban design and technical staff members who are focused on various aspects of our service, ranging from concept and detailed design, presentation and computer-generated 3D’s, through to technical documentation and site administration.
dhk thinkspace is headed up by the following Directors - Trevor Shapiro (managing director), Guido Tagge (design director), Patricia Monaghan (projects director) and Adéle Maritz (projects director) as well as Derick Henstra (chairman + design director) and Peter Fehrsen (design director).
Under their leadership, dhk thinkspace has evolved into one of South Africa’s leading interior architecture, spatial design and project management consultancies. Focusing on its core competencies, the company provides superior interior design solutions, backed by effective project management and cost control systems to deliver a range of design options across a variety of built environments.
dhk strives to provide the highest standards of design and professionalism throughout all phases of our service. From understanding the Client’s brief through to delivering a completed building, on time and on budget, we actively focus our efforts on correctly interpreting the Client’s requirements, designing solutions that integrate such requirements with the appropriate architectural responses. Taking into cognisance international design influences, technical developments, sustainability, economic realities and the interdependence between architecture and the urban design framework we create designs which are not only fit for purpose but set benchmarks in architectural and design excellence.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Policy
dhk is committed to a set of core CSR principles:
- Legal conformance - adherence to the law of the land in every territory in which we operate;
- Sustainability - taking into consideration economic, environmental and social issues in carrying out feasibility assessment, master planning, consultation and design of projects;
- Economic - we consider the potential impact of our work on the local economy of the communities concerned;
- Environmental - we assess and manage the environmental impacts of our operations. We seek to promote best practice in design, construction and subsequent use and maintenance of the products we build;
- Social - we seek to encourage social inclusion in the communities, which we help to develop and to operate in an ethical manner with all stakeholders. We strive to manage our activities in a safe manner and to protect the health of our employees and partners. We also seek to develop the skills and experience of our employees and to offer opportunities for advancement;
- Continual improvement - by reviewing performance and setting of objectives and targets;
- Reporting our performance - an Associate Director is nominated to report to dhk Architects board on CSR matters.
Within dhk every project remains the individual responsibility of a Team Leader (a Director or Associate Director), with Associates assisting in the day-to-day management responsibility for the project and the staff working on it. Team Leaders and Associates jointly plan and review the projects throughout their duration.
In addition, Derick Henstra and Peter Fehrsen, as Design Principals, have input on every project throughout the design stages and are responsible for maintaining high standards of design quality within the group.Full project team design and progress review meetings are held on a regular basis to review progress, project costs, agree design elements, material decisions, etc. and to further maintain the high standards of design quality we strive for.
dhk Design Management and dhk Implementation Management meetings are held weekly between Directors, Associate Directors, Associates and other senior staff, with strong representation from each of the teams. The agendas include a brief review of each of the active projects within the office and the monitoring and adjustment of project staffing among teams to meet project deliverables as and when required.
Equal Opportunities Policy
dhk is committed to developing a working culture that is fair and enables all employees to make their distinctive contributions to the Practice. We strive to be an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourage all our employees to welcome diversity and respect each person’s individuality. We believe that a positive attitude towards equality and diversity is right for society, the Practice, our employees and our clients.
We will continuously review our policies and practices to make sure they are appropriate and operate effectively. The aim of this policy is to ensure that no employee or job applicant should receive less favourable treatment on racial grounds or on the grounds of sex, religion, disability, marital status, age or sexual orientation or be disadvantaged by conditions or requirements which cannot be shown to be justifiable.
It is our policy that all eligible people should have equal opportunity for employment and advancement on the basis of their ability, qualifications and fitness for work. There must be no unlawful discrimination, direct or indirect, victimisation or harassment against any eligible person whether in recruitment, selection, training or promotion or in any aspect of employment.