De Mond Nature Reserve
The design and redevelopment of De Mond Nature Reserve provides an opportunity to establish an overnight eco-tourism flagship development in the Western Cape. The project includes multi disciplinary critical thinking processes which navigates broad principles and integrates site specific detail.
CapeNature manages World Heritage Sites, provincial nature reserves and marine protected areas which supply ecosystem services to citizens, climate change resilience and access for ecotourism, research and environmental education.
Located at the mouth of the Heuningnes river, the Indian ocean, amongst the mobile and vegetated dune fields with a small pocket of coastal thicket the reserve is engulfed in the epic ebb and flow of a rugged and powerful ecosystem. The continued healthy ‘natural’ functioning of the ecosystem provides valuable ecosystem services.
The pattern of settlement inevitably imprints itself onto the land. This pattern can dominate the landscape or work with it. Heavily engineered solutions ‘big ideas’ tend to be insensitive to the qualities of wilderness sense of place and healthy functioning of the ecosystem.
The design will utilise sustainable materials, passive design principles which are tailored to suit the environmental conditions. Durable, relatively low maintenance solutions which are corrosion resistant, fire resistant and of sustainable materials and building methods are being explored.