The design of the new Sun Vacation Club (SVC) development draws inspiration from the adjacent heritage site as well as the surrounding natural landscape. The development consists of 10 freestanding, four-bedroom villas and 48 three-bedroom duet units, all carefully arranged to accommodate existing natural features, typography and views.
The name Lefika Villas was selected as it means “stone” in the local Setswana language. The name pays homage to the adjacent stone-walled Itlholanoga heritage site – the real “lost city” of the greater Sun City resort. The settlement is located on the northern face of the hill overlooking the entire valley and is a reminder of the proud Setswana heritage. The site is rated as a level five for historic significance, and is a designated provincial heritage site.
Sun International has enlisted the assistance of leading archaeological and heritage experts, including Wits Archaeology Professor Mandy Esterhuyzen, who is also the Director of the Origins centre at Wits. Professor Esterhuysen will assist with the management and preservation of this and surrounding historical heritage sites.
Sun International Development Manager Mark Pitchers says, “The Lefika Villas are a luxurious contemporary architectural style development. Each villa has been individually sited to blend into the tranquil environment, while expressing the breath-taking views. The designers have perfectly captured the brief, “to minimise intrusion into the landscape”.
“Special attention was also given to the preservation of existing natural features on site. The new villas have been located around existing natural topographies such as existing rock outcrops and existing trees as far as possible. The serene bush setting feels miles away from the heart of the bustling Sun City Resort which is literally two minutes away.”
All villas are equipped with a closed combustion fireplace, an outdoor entertainment deck with a braai and an entertainment area, with magnificent views overlooking the Pilanesberg mountain range. While the four-bedroom villas further distinguish themselves by boasting their own private plunge pool and a fire pit.
The designers’ integration with the natural environment is further enhanced by softening harsh structural building edges by strategically placed planters on the building edges. Incorporating the existing natural features, repurposing giant boulders and reintroducing native trees, plants and shrubs into the landscaping all adds to the authentic integration of the villas into the landscaping. The collaboration between Patrick Watson, the original Sun City and Lost City gardens and world renowned Landscape Architect in partnership with B+P Landscape Architects, has ensured the landscape design is 100% authentic to the Pilanesberg biosphere.
The interior design is distinguished through a collection of materials and textures which reference natural forms, with colour palettes that draw inspiration from the surrounding fauna and flora.
“The interiors ultimately open up and give way to expansive views, allowing the surroundings to take centre stage.”
The holistic indigenous design solution creates a perfect synergy between the inside and outside and ultimately “pay tribute to the biophysical and historical environment”.
Numerous green design principles have been implemented to achieve optimal interior comfort and energy efficiency. The orientation of the villas, together with thick stone walls, thermal insulation to underside floors and on top of roof slabs, along with large overhangs, create the ideal thermal mass.
Using natural energy efficient design principles reduces heat gain in summer and minimises heat loss in winter. Large glazed areas allow for ideal natural lighting levels, while strategically placed windows ensure that effective cross ventilation creates the ideal level of comfort for the guest. Water saving sanitary fittings with energy efficient cold start taps, heat pumps for effective water heating and the use of LED lightings all contribute to the energy efficiency of the unit.
Janita Donaldson, The Sun Vacation Club Group General Manager says, “The Lefika Villas were born from the market demand for a high-end luxury, self-catering product at Sun City Resort. The Sun Vacation Club Lion suites and the three-bedroom units sold out in record time, highlighting the appetite for more space and more luxury. Lefika Villas is our luxury brand within the Sun Vacation Club product, and will focus on offering luxury, space and tranquillity. ”