South African creative firm Source Interior Brand Architects (Source IBA) is working on two hotel refurbishment projects in the Zimbabwean capital of Harare and is beating a path into the rest of the continent.
While working on South African hospitality projects including the Radisson Blu Safari Resort Kruger Park, 60% of Source IBA’s current workload is from outside our borders in countries including Seychelles, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Angola, Sierra Leone, Mali, DRC, and Nigeria.
The interior architecture and design firm which offers a comprehensive design package for all internal elements across the hospitality, leisure, corporate, civic and retail industries, is responsible for the new look at both the 326-room Rainbow Towers and the 175-room Cresta Lodge, located on the outskirts of Harare.
“Rainbow Towers is best described as the ‘Grand Dame’ of Harare and it is exciting for us to work on another project of this scale outside our borders,” says Source IBA founder and creative director Jeremy Stewart. The Hotel guest accomodation includes a Presidential Suite, three executive suites, 16 Junior Suites, 47 Towers Club rooms and 259 standard rooms. Guest areas include an all-day dining restaurant, patisserie, bar and lounge.
“Source IBA is taking the best of what the international traveller expects and delivering it locally through design, yet also tailoring specific hospitality solutions to suit Africa.”
The complex includes the International Convention Centre and Casino, which boasts a 4 500-seat auditorium. The complex is set on a large park like site and boasts extensive outdoor opportunities which the design team intends to maximise. Source IBA has undertaken the project in phases, with the first 200 rooms due for completion in the first quarter of 2012, Stewart said.
Despite years of political turmoil, hotels in Zimbabwe are in high demand and this situation is mirrored through much of the continent with high room rates achieved. According to data compiled by STR Global, the Middle East/Africa region’s hotel occupancy levels in January ended the month with a 6.2-percent increase to 57,5 percent.
Other African and Indian Ocean design projects which Source IBA has previously completed include the Jumeirah Palms Residences in Dubai, the Kempinski Mokuti Lodge in Namibia and the Radisson Blu Hotel Lusaka, Zambia and Eden Island in Mahe, Seychelles.
“We are entering an extremely exciting pioneering phase, where we see Africa leading the way in defining our own modern design aesthetic, both unique but at an international level,” says Stewart
Our design teams have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity of working with top local and international hospitality brands and products over the past decade. Part of our focus is to share this knowledge and transfer of skills by associating with local design firms, manufacturers and artisans across Africa.
Source IBA has a 25-strong design team and studios in both Cape Town and Johannesburg whose recently completed projects including the 15 On Orange Hotel, Southern Sun, Hyde Park, and the Park Inn by Radisson, Sandton.