About | Charl de Villiers Architects



Qualifications & Studies


  • Matriculated from Hoërskool Waterkloof, Pretoria, South Africa
  • Attended Abitur, Kaiserin Friedrich Gimnasium, Bad Homburg, Germany
  • Obtained BArch (Architectural Degree) from the University of Pretoria
  • Completed theoretical modules, Master of Urban Design, at Wits University, Johannesburg
  • Currently studying Bohm's Dialogue

Work History


  • Full-time lecturing at Y-design Architectural Drafting School, Mamelodi for Samuel Pauw Architects
  • Apprenticeship at Roxin Architects, Swakopmund, Namibia
  • Worked for Oscar Hirsch Silvio Buffler Architects, Pretoria
  • Founded Charl de Villiers Closed Corporation Architects in 1999 (previously Charl Create)
  • Serves on the Appeal Board of the Council for the Built Environment (CBE) and Tribunal of SACAP(South African Council for the Architectural Profession)





Services | Full | Partial


  • Offices
  • Residence-to-business conversions
  • Residential: single houses through to housing estates
  • Sacred spaces: churches, meditation halls etc.
  • Consultations
  • Forensic reports

Professional Registrations


  • SA Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP)
  • SA Institute of Architects (SAIA)
  • Pretoria Institute of Architects (PIA)

Publications & Awards


  • SA Garden and Home; Tuin Paleis; Home Plans for SA; Construction Review; SA Roofing; Oikia kai Diakosmisi (Greece)
  • "Most Aesthetic Thatch Roof Design by an Architect", SA Thatchers' Association





  • English
  • Afrikaans
  • German



  • Co-founded Heart Mind Lab (HML), a salon presenting lectures that provide tools for living wisely

Q: What is your role as an architect?

bracket A: An architect is like the director of an orchestra. I integrate a wide range of considerations impacting on projects (financial, legal...) with the contributions of the professional team (city planning, engineering...) and others (branding, estate agents...) Because I have Full Project Comprehension I can see and steer the whole picture as it unfolds, implementing and managing. This enables me as a Designer to create spaces that are both practical and beautiful, evoking deep feeling.

Q: Why architecture?

bracket A: It's in my blood. Having grown up in houses designed by my architect father, Mitch, I enjoy the challenge of integrating the creative and practical. I also enjoy building relationships with both my clients and others.

Q: Describe your architectural style.

bracket A: My designs are highly functional. I work with sophisticated simplicity: clean lines and honest materials. My work is sculptural with attention to detail. I work mainly in the Modernist tradition as well as in authentic regional styles such as Cape Dutch and Karoo, where appropriate in context. Irrespective of style all my designs are classical in the sense that they age well.

Q: Tell us your one secret love.

bracket A: I love designing tiny spaces! The little 'wit huisie by die see' (small white house by the sea) that Afrikaans poet Etienne le Roux wrote of or a thatch roof 'rondawel' in the Bushveldt where Eugene Marais, another Afrikaans poet, would have felt right at home.

Q: What work do you typically do?

bracket A: Charl: Offices, both new and residence- to-business conversions. Also residential proper, from single homes through to housing estates. Sacred space holds a special place in my heart, both religious and secular: chapels, churches, meditation areas, quiet heart-to-heart connection spaces for corporate clients. Also the design of mixed-use estates that often combine all of the above. Consultations are available to clients who do not require full architectural services, such as forensic reports or inspiring advice on transforming existing spaces for DIY enthusiasts.

Over and above practising architecture, I have taught architecture students in a township during the Apartheid era. I serve on the appeal board of a statutory body that oversees some half a dozen professions in the building industry as well as on the tribunal of my own statutory body.

Q: What do you enjoy doing most?

bracket A: Anything unusual and challenging.

Q: How important is context?

bracket A: It is critical to have flexible responses to diverse environments. Work in urban Johannesburg or Pretoria requires a different approach to say, projects on Cape wine farms. Similarly, my work in Namibia and Greece required yet another response to that of my South African work.

Q: Parting shot, what are your other interests?

bracket A: My interests are very diverse. Travelling, especially Asia. Deep conversations; interesting people, actually! Also studying. I love the outdoors and being physically active in various ways – right now fitness boxing is my current buzz. Collecting art is a great passion and my life would be incomplete without my two beloved cats.