GAPP Architects’ Sally Tsiliyiannis, Cecile & Boyd work on Singita Ebony Lodge redesign

Singita redesigned its original lodge, Singita Ebony, which is located on the Sand River in South Africa. The redesign of the property completes Singita’s reinvention of its private 45,000-acre game reserve that is set within the Sabi Sand, where Singita operates two other properties – Singita Boulders Lodge and Singita Castleton. 

GAPP Architects’ Sally Tsiliyiannis redesigned Singita Ebony Lodge with Cecile & Boyd. The design team came up with a contemporary interpretation of the safari lodge, combining tented camp and bush lodge style. The lodge now has open spaces and interiors inspired by a combination of local tribal culture and the animal kingdom.

The Singita Ebony Lodge now has 12 suites, each with a private plunge pool. The internal and external walls were removed from the existing lodge and replaced with canvas and glass to create safari tent-style suites that offer views of the surrounding area. Also available are outdoor pavilion decks suspended off the riverbanks to create an impression of these decks hanging in the trees.


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The interiors include antiques and artifacts, as well as vintage furniture from the Bailes family collection. These are made from wood, iron, steel and aged bronze that date to the 19th century. There is also sepia photography, art objects, as well as leopard and zebra animal print upholstery fabric that complement tribal patterned murals. Instead of animal skins, Singita Ebony Lodge has printed animal patterns on textured fabric.

The lodge also incorporated sculptural elements with a new color palette of black and white. The black can be found in the ebony wood, while the white is represented by the linens and fibers.

In the hub in the middle of the lodge, the sitting room was moved to the very front of the lodge, closer to nature. The style is reflective of what is called as the "New Nomad", which allows travelers to go back to nature but still stay connected. A table made of marble and cast iron is the centerpiece for this space.