Embracing curiosity, playfulness and interconnectedness to imagine new ways of being.

 

We strive to develop projects in a way that emphasises design and construction as their own worthwhile vehicles for learning and human development.

By taking a systems perspective, regenerative developments work on developing the health and capacity of the systems they’re part of, both social and natural.

Regenerative developments look beyond sustainable developments by recognising ourselves as part of a co-evolutionary whole and applying management techniques to restore systems to an improved state, rather than a neutral “making things less bad” state.

Lounging at the Troyeville House, Akoma

Our Design and Development Approach

Akoma’s aim has always been to radically impact how we shape our built environment, and how it shapes us.

This goes beyond using alternative materials and sustainable infrastructure solutions. The process of how we develop deserves as much attention as what we develop, as we believe it can be a critical vehicle for change. Indeed, current circumstances require it to be…

Viewing the development process from this lens, any project has the potential to become an incubator, a seed, for further learning, knowledge sharing, skills transfer, micro-enterprise creation, and much more.

Akoma’s intention is to approach the places, projects and people we engage with holistically. This has informed our processes but also our internal team make-up.

By consolidating multiple areas of expertise under one roof we are better positioned to ensure the values and vision of the projects we take on are honoured throughout their planning and execution. This allows for short feedback loops and holistic planning across various disciplines such as design, construction, branding, hospitality, marketing, operations, etc. As a result, being resourceful and quickly adapting to changing conditions are core elements of our development approach.

Regeneration builds capacity;
sustainability, at best, maintains it.

Featured project.

Linbro Gardens

Linbro Gardens is reimagining the deeply fragmented urban life in South Africa by creating a mixed-income residential development that is humane, connected and ecologically sensitive.

Located in Linbro Park, a well-situated yet underdeveloped suburb 15 minutes from central Johannesburg, Linbro Gardens seeks to reimagine urban life in Johannesburg; presenting a more humane, connected alternative to the conventional model of suburban residential development.

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Cactus and Linbro Gardens

Roles of place

In order to reach its true potential from a physical, psychological, social, cultural, economical and environmental perspective, we need to view a project’s purpose beyond creating a space for various uses of buildings. What is the role of the project within its greater ecosystem?

In building each of the below ‘roles of place’, we are setting out to develop relationships, processes and technologies which we hope will inspire other developers and push the impact of this project beyond the build itself.

Centre of exchange

A place that people call home. A place of safety for families, women and children without the constant awareness of violent security measures and systems.

Garden

A place that people call home. A place of safety for families, women and children without the constant awareness of violent security measures and systems.

Home & sanctuary

A place that people call home. A place of safety for families, women and children without the constant awareness of violent security measures and systems.

Bedrock of community

A place that people call home. A place of safety for families, women and children without the constant awareness of violent security measures and systems.

House of experimentation

A place that people call home. A place of safety for families, women and children without the constant awareness of violent security measures and systems.

Space for Expression & Inspiration

A place that people call home. A place of safety for families, women and children without the constant awareness of violent security measures and systems.

Akoma’s role

Akoma was approached by the landowner who expressed her family’s intention of leaving a legacy behind by building a mixed-income, mixed-age ecologically sensitive community.

In such a purpose-driven initiative, we believe it is important all partners are aligned on their values and personal motivations for the project, ultimately moving  us beyond the conventional, transactional relationships so common in the industry. Ensuring a common vision and skin in the game allows Akoma to take on a wider role in shaping and deliver the project, including:

– Concept development
– Financial modelling
– Development management
– Fundraising
– Architectural design
– Microenterprise & skills development
– Branding and marketing
– Project & construction management
– Hospitality operations

Herlu Greeff and horse at Linbro Gardens

Featured project.

Project 58

In the heart of the Cradle of Humankind, Project 58 is a place to reconnect with yourself, others and nature. By creating ecologically restorative spaces and programs, Project 58 seeks to enable a more conscious and connected existence by encouraging a realignment with nature and ourselves.

“The project is a mechanism, a catalyst, a start of something new… a different way of being.” – expressed during a Bohm Dialogue in January 2019.

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58, Cradle of Humankind, Photo Julia Jane Persson
58, Cradle of Humankind, Photo Julia Jane Persson

Approach

It is through an organic process of collaboration that these mappings have been produced. Artists, architects, permaculturalists, spiritualists, investors, business operators, yogis, doctors, psychologists, community members, and more, came together to a collective intelligence and site understanding to produce the following recommendations. An understanding of not only hominoids that roamed the land we are working with today but also the geology of the area that has allowed us to make such discoveries about the hominoids.. This process was a visceral and tactile one, of walking, touching and listening to an ancient site.

Mapping is a research process that is never able to be fully complete, yet
with a diverse team of professionals fewer aspects of site character are

missed. The following maps detail a preliminary but holistic understand-
ing of the site. The team is encouraged to see these recommendations

not as a final decision but one that is a future link to the next step in the
non-linear nature of design.

Akoma’s role

Our team was involved in driving Project 58 as partners and development managers right from the start of the development, following the initial land purchase. This began with conceptualising a masterplan that spoke to our values of collaboration, community, contemplation, regeneration and learning – while also meeting investor expectations.

The conceptualisation began as a series of workshops with a diverse group of 40+ curated collaborators. This culminated in a plan that allowed us to raise further funding, begin designing and initial work on site. Our activities throughout the project included:

– conceptualising the development & business models
– appointment of professional team
– appointing in-house operators and team to manage the various business units (restaurant, farm, hospitality, etc.)
– raising funds from aligned investors
– establishing and running skills transfer programme for locals (SRE, green building, agriculture, hospitality)
– architectural design
– branding and marketing (website, social media, etc.)
– project & construction management
– event management

Herlu Greeff and horse at Linbro Gardens
Rammed earth walls by AsaDuru

Interested in working with us on your development?