Louis Karol Architects is an award-winning practice renowned for its superb architectural designs. As one of South Africa’s preeminent architectural firms, we have worked with the country’s most prominent corporate and public clients, in addition to international corporates such as Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Shell, and Swiss Re.
Our core strength lies in our skilled understanding of the needs of national and multi-national corporates – particularly in the niche sphere of company headquarter buildings.
We combine our crafted, robust and striking architecture with impeccable documentation, detailing and management skills, bringing to every project a thorough understanding of commercial pragmatism, construction processes and demonstrable quality control. We are adept at tackling the large projects, on time and on budget.
Louis Karol Architects is also a decidedly South African company, committed to the betterment of our surroundings. We ensure our structures respond to their environment, make a statement, and support environmental and economic sustainability.
Louis Karol Architects is committed to ensuring our clients get the best possible value for money.
We do this through the application of our professional skills to ensure both crafting and cost-control are employed in creating an exemplary end product. We believe our skilled application of detailing and design allows us to extract amazing buildings from reasonable budgets.
Louis Karol Architects has developed a multidisciplinary organisational structure that offers architectural, urban design, interior design and project management services.
Our portfolio of work comprises numerous corporate head offices and commercial office buildings, in addition to everything from Waterfront developments to hotels and exhibition centres.
Louis Karol Architects has been a BEE Enterprise since 2003, but the concept of empowerment has been a core value of ours for decades. We have had a committed upliftment programme in place since 1981, long before it became statuary.
Today, we are one of the largest Black Empowerment Architectural firms in South Africa, rated Level 2 in the coveted “Broad-Based BEE” category.
It is against this backdrop that members of staff from previously disadvantaged sectors, as well as women (who are particularly under-represented in the construction sector) have, over the last twenty years, benefited from skills transfers and been appointed to professional and managerial positions within the firm.
Louis Karol Architects does not regard sustainability as a new concept in architecture – rather it emphasises the first principles of good design, translating into buildings that are responsive to their immediate environment as well as the wider one. We see this as the new standard for developing buildings, and expect to provide strong leadership in this process in the future.
Our commitment to the principles of environmental sustainability is a natural development from our core expertise in economic sustainability. We aspire to produce buildings that are resource, energy and cost-efficient by virtue of the most effective active systems and most appropriate passive design elements available. We believe that the involvement of the entire consultant team (particularly electrical and mechanical) is critical in supporting architectural sustainability, and we are experienced in identifying suitably qualified consultants.
Louis Karol Architects is a member of the Green Building Council of South Africa. We value the Green Star rating tool for its ability to provide clear benchmarks for performance while emphasising the importance of an integrative design process. In doing so, ultimate energy and resource consumption are considered from the initial sketch design stage phases.
Louis Karol Architects sees itself as part of the new South Africa. As architects, we serve the needs of a democratic social order with buildings that contribute to social and economic advancement. In addition to this, we are a non-discriminatory, proactive, equal-opportunity employer, committed to passing on the intellectual capital and knowledge that the practice has built up over the last 60 years.
Our positive human resource development programme was established in 1981, geared specifically to the advancement of personnel who had experienced a disadvantaged educational system. We are proud of our affirmative education programme; in particular, of our students who have achieved such great results.
Our programme today includes:
Louis Karol Architects endeavours to play a role in the development and redevelopment of South Africa’s diverse communities through involvement in a variety of community-based projects. We are always enthusiastic to be involved in programmes that enrich lives and improve environments, and are open to suggestions and queries. Some of the projects we contribute to:
Since 2009, Louis Karol Architects has supplied books on art, design and architecture to the Focus Schools of the Arts, ten educational facilities providing special training for learners in visual arts, design, dance, drama and music in the Western Cape. We also pay for the weekly bussing of one school's learners to the Frank Joubert Art Centre for art lessons. Ibhabhathane facilitated these donations.
For three-quarters of a century, the Service Dining rooms have been housed in the same old-fashioned brick building in Cape Town, serving meals to the needy for only 5 cents – a price that has never risen, even though the number of meals catered for has increased from 200 to 1200 per day.
The Farm and Garden National Trust raises funds to spread knowledge, expertise and resources to emerging micro-farmers and gardeners nationally, providing much-needed support for community-based projects in poor and needy communities.
Green Communities is a non-profit organisation promoting social upliftment through sustainable urban green living environments in low income housing settlements, promoting and delivering initiatives in a consultative, well-planned and effective manner to help alleviate social dilemmas. www.greencommunities.org.za