Using Architecture to Return To Craft

Bespoke hand-crafted things are obscenely beautiful no matter the setting. But it is about more than aesthetics. Things made by hand narrate intricate nuances of time, person and place. They add colour, texture and contrast wherever they are used and can solve complex challenges that mass-produced crafts will never be able to do. 

When used in architecture, craft deepens Genius Loci (the spirit of place). That undeniable personal connection between humans, buildings and the environment. When a building becomes more than just what you see, but what you feel – that’s Genius Loci.

At Veld Architects, we support “Slow Architecture”. The design of buildings that are sustainable, thoughtful and meaningful. We believe skilled craftsmen and women play a massive role in this, which is why we regularly seek out collaborative opportunities on purpose.

A few examples of Veld Architects collabs

Concrete artwork

A collaboration between Veld Architects, Down 2 the Wire & Wolkberg Casting Studios.

Down 2 the Wire is a non-profit organisation that creates beautifully crafted jewellery and artwork made from snare wires. Through this they not only raise funds for the protection, treatment and rehabilitation of wildlife but they also create awareness for anti-poaching initiatives. 

Wolkberg Casting Studios, makers and designers of innovative concrete tiles and furniture, joins us in this collaboration with these stunning custom-designed concrete Limesite breeze blocks featuring Down 2 the Wire inserts.

This project is an example of how craft – while striking and functional – can also be meaningful on a deep level.

Gabion & slate wall structures

A collaboration between Veld Architects & local workers and crafters.

Gabion baskets used as feature walls are sturdy, sustainable, maintenance-free and can even be repurposed. The slate used in this project was hand-selected for their exact colour palettes and stacked by hand. The baskets were constructed and bent by hand as well.

This project is an example of how craft can bring texture and contrast to a building in an eco-friendly and maintenance-free manner.

Custom steel designs

A collaboration between Veld Architects & Manna Design Studio.

Manna Design Studio creates bespoke interior architecture solutions, fixtures, fittings, lighting, furniture pieces etc. 

In this particular Veld home, we collaborated with the team on a number of one-of-a-kind steel designs for the kitchen island and table, walk-in pantry, bathroom shelves and more.

This project is an example of how craft can be used to make space more practical and purposeful on multiple levels.

Glass lighting

A collaboration between Veld Architects, Retief van Wyk from Glass Forming Academy & Manna Design Studio.

Retief van Wyk from Glass Forming Academy is an expert in bead making, kiln forming and glass blowing. We collaborated with him and Manna Design Studio to create these one-of-a-kind custom-designed glass and steel light fixtures. The combination of coloured glass and dark steel against the light concrete background is so simple but magnificent at the same time.

This project is an example of how craft can create lovely, strong statement pieces in a home without taking the focus away from new minimalism.

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