New Hotel
Client Definite Properties
Location Cradle of Humankind, South Africa
Size 28 beds

activate space - Forum Homini Hotel The Forum Homini Boutique Hotel is a modern space that explores the dramatic 4 million year old story of human evolution in an accessible, interesting, sophisticated and humorous way.

Forum Homini Interior Design Philosophy: Approximately 200 000 years ago, a small, pioneering group of our ancestors travelled out of Africa and successfully populated the rest of the world. A major focus of the interior design for Forum Homini is about saying “Welcome Back Home!” to modern travellers from all over the world who visit the hotel.

Because the hotel's location and the architecture of the buildings are so rooted in the theme of evolution, we all agreed (in initial design sessions between the architects, interior designer and client) that the interior design should have a theatrical flavour. Within this versatile theatrical backdrop, the scenes of human evolution should unfold.

Our client coined a phrase during one of the early design brain storming sessions – “The Hotel should be a ‘think park’ and not a ‘theme park’”.

The process of designing the interior was dealt with on two levels:

  • one layer was the sourcing and procurement of specific furniture, fabrics, decorative trims, paint colours, curtain styles etc.
  • the other was a process of managing the collaboration between several South African visual artists and our client. This resulted in the creation of 8 permanent, site-specific artworks which function as a ‘narrative’ - a journey through the hotel, where the scenes of human evolution gradually unfold in a thought-provoking, visually stimulating and dynamic way.
Peter Mthombeni Marco Ciafanelli David Roussow Paul Du Toit Painting

Both of these processes focused on emphasising evolution as a celebration of the human journey - a story about ‘living’ people (not just the discoveries of fossils and bones), where our past and present engage in lively conversation.

In 2006, Activate Space was proud to win a Silver Loerie Award in the 3 Dimensional Design- Architecture and Interior Design category for this project. Read More

Visit the Forum Homini website

Certain images courtesy of Leading Architecture & Design Magazine

Bell Roberts Book 2009 Featured in 10 years + 100 buildings Architecture in a Democratic South Africa.

2006 Activate win a Loerie Award for Forum Homini.
View the entry
2006 Loerie award winner

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