Well, 2021 is certainly kicking off.
As I write this, the country’s lockdown – as is the case with many others – has been extended and intensified (nevermind that we went past begin and collected two new viral strains), the US Capitol has survived an attempted insurrection while Amanda Gorman reminded us all of the power of the human spirit to do good, and it’s the end of Kim and Kanye as we know it – and it’s barely January.
Yet, as the annus horribilis that was 2020 spills into the present, there is still optimism – albeit cautious – all around us. And so we decided, in this issue, to take a break from the ‘right now’ and look forward to the many great things coming our way this year.
in Joburg, former president thabo Mbeki has teamed up with Ghanaian-British architect Sir david Adjaye on perhaps one of the most important new landmarks in the city: the thabo Mbeki Presidential Library. With its unique granary-inspired structure, the library will become a much-needed beacon of hope and an agent for change not just for South Africa but the continent as a whole. further afield, the work of architect tadao Ando in Paris and designer Kelly Wearstler in the States sets the bar for creativity, ingenuity and progress ever higher.
The House & Garden team also keep the focus squarely on local design with impact, starting with tristan du Plessis’ megawatt monochrome masterpiece in Sandhurst, which you’ll find on this month’s cover. not to be outdone, Cape town-based firm SAOTA once again rewrites the rules of domestic architecture while, in franschhoek, 7 Koppies offers a bucolic escape from the chaotic unpredictability of our everyday lives.
There is no doubt that each of these projects faced – and overcame – difficult challenges; an inspiring reminder that there is nothing we cannot achieve if we only work together.
As always, stay safe.
Piet Smedy, Editor-in-Chief