dhk expands leadership with the appointment of three associates 

dhk expands leadership with the appointment of three associates 

dhk Architects has promoted architects Sarah Tarr, Stephen Wyeth and Francois Hugo to its leadership team.  

The three SACAP-registered Professional Architects have been named the firm’s new associates. They have a combined experience of over 40 years in the sector and throughout their time at dhk have made notable contributions to the practice and projects.

Sarah joined dhk as a candidate architect in 2015 and over time progressed to a senior architectural role. Francois Hugo headed up the technical department at another practice before joining dhk in 2023. Stephen, who’s based at dhk’s Joburg’s studio, has more than a decade of experience and has been with the practice since late 2022. 

Renske Haller, dhk Partner and Managing Director, says the multidisciplinary studio prides itself on recognising talent and nurturing growth, and is delighted to have the three architects join the leadership team.  “On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am delighted to welcome Sarah, Stephen, and Francois to the management team. They have been working on some of our flagship projects and have proven their mettle since joining dhk. We believe these new appointments will strengthen the team and ensure the continued growth and development of the practice,” says Renske. 

All three associates have expressed their excitement about the appointments.  

Sarah said: “I’ve grown and learned so much from the dhk team over the past nine years and am happy to continue learning from the experience and passion of the team.” Stephen shared similar sentiments, saying, “I feel honoured and privileged to be part of such an amazing team. As a design architect I am looking forward to working on the vast variety of incredible projects we have in our pipeline.” Francois added that, “It’s an invigorating experience working with such a dynamic team and being part of the dhk culture.”

Sarah studied at the University of Cape Town, where she earned her Master’s Degree in Architecture, after which she worked on a variety of commercial and residential projects in Namibia and briefly in Australia. 

She started at dhk in 2015 and considers herself an all-rounder. While she enjoys the aesthetic and design aspects of projects, she believes that delivery is key, and equally enjoys the process of taking designs from concept to reality in development. Over the course of her career at dhk, Sarah has worked on large commercial developments, ranging from offices to hotels and large-scale residential projects, at all stages, from design to construction and completion. 
One of her notable projects at dhk is the Triangle House office conversion, in 2017, to the Radisson Blu Hotel and Residence (now known as Pullman Cape Town City Centre), which was pivotal in understanding complexities of adaptive re-use and high-rise buildings. Other significant projects are several office buildings in the Bridgeways precinct of Century City, notably Sable Corner. She has also worked on the Grand Hotel in GrandWest, Conradie Park, a ground-breaking mixed-use development, primarily focused on an integrated housing scheme, as well as a new multimedia academic learning centre at Bishops Diocesan College in Rondebosch.
Sarah’s primary area of interest lies in design development and working with teams to execute projects on site according to best possible practice. Overall, however, she prefers to aim for a holistic understanding of projects, picking up skills at each level and experience in each area. 

Stephen is a Professional Architect at dhk with more than a decade of experience spanning commercial, retail, hospitality and residential design. He completed his Bachelor of Architectural Studies in 2007 and Master of Architecture (Prof) in 2009 at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. Over the course of his career, he has been involved in different projects ranging from mixed-use, high-rise towers to ultra-luxury residences. 
Stephen joined dhk in 2022, working on projects including Eastgate Residential and One Rosebank, both in Johannesburg, as well as Conradie Park in Cape Town. His current projects are Empire Place in Johannesburg and a high-rise development in Ghana.

Before joining dhk, Stephen worked at several high-profile architecture firms in South Africa. His past work includes high-end homes in Dubai, the redevelopment of a banking headquarters in Botswana, a high-rise hotel in Sandton, a greenhouse design competition in Iceland, and luxury bush lodges in the Kruger region. His involvement in these projects ranged from conceptual design to technical documentation. 
Stephen has travelled extensively. In 2018, he spent two months in the USA on an architectural pilgrimage, during which time he was exposed to famous architectural works by the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Kahn, Renzo Piano, Frank Gehry and Steven Holl. 

As a design architect, Stephen thrives in a collaborative studio environment. He is hands-on and considers himself ‘old school’ in his rigorous and systematic approach to design. 

Francois Hugo is a seasoned Professional Architect with more than 20 years’ experience in the architectural sector. His area of expertise is high-end residential developments. Francois has worked in South Africa, the United Kingdom, and on projects in several African countries. Projects he’s been involved in over the years range from major urban regeneration schemes, large retail and commercial buildings, airports, leisure facilities, housing developments and large-scale office fitouts, to numerous upmarket single residences. His projects at dhk include 5 Dock Road, a luxury residential development at the V&A Waterfront and The Paradigm, a new mixed-use development in the Cape Town CBD. 

Before joining dhk in 2023, Francois was a partner at another well-known firm in Cape Town, where he headed the technical department. In this role, he was involved in overseeing all projects during technical documentation and construction phases as well as managing the firm’s building information modelling (BIM) and IT systems. He also helped to establish outsourcing practices, implement Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Building Information Modeling (BIM) technologies and develop management protocols as the firm expanded. 

Francois’s notable previous projects include Iron Man House in Clifton, a premium luxury villa in Cape Town, 1 on Albert, a seven-storey residential micro apartment block in Cape Town and the Standard Bank head office in Ghana. He also worked on the Arabella Sheraton Grand Hotel in Cape Town, Abu Dhabi International Airport and the Mount Febe Residential Development, an estate in Cameroon with three multi storey residential blocks.

Francois has focused on developing his technological skills and previously served as a part-time Revit lecturer at BHC Design School. Francois also has a keen interest in innovative technical detailing and resolution, sustainability and AI integration into BIM.