Dalton Compound

Estcourt, KZN


The Dalton Compound is an integrated component of its environment, a 3 000-hectare reserve in the Estcourt area of rural KZN. It is the operational centre of the reserve with buildings that are flexible to various utilitarian needs yet offer exclusivity to guests staying at The Compound’s luxury accommodation. The project included the removal of alien vegetation, recycling it for use and the re-introduction of indigenous vegetation. Amongst other initiatives, the project included the creation of a vegetable garden for staff and a nursery, orchard and animal pens. An old timber yard is developed into a solar wood-drying kiln allowing for locally processed timber employed in the building. Local villagers were trained and employed in the construction. The Compound consists of two work sheds arranged around a vehicle yard; a central administrative block; management accommodation; a barn for meetings, stores, laundry services, an industrial kitchen and upper floor luxury accommodation. Architectural development focused on previously inhabited areas of the farms, minimising infrastructural expansion and environmental degradation. Buildings are flexible to the needs of the holistic system as opposed to being singular and definitive in their use.