In Conversation with Dion Walters

For Bomax Architects, the balance between creativity and sustainability is the guiding star. Founded in 2000 by Dion Walters and Frank Böhm, the practice prioritises minimising environmental impact while upholding architectural excellence. Dion, now partnered with Josh Brodie, have shaped the practice into a revered name in the industry. In a recent conversation, Dion shared the simple rules that shape his prolific portfolio and professional trajectory.

House Llandudno

How How would you describe minimalism at its best?

Minimalism isn’t always visually striking; it’s about balance. The forms themselves become the essence of beauty, necessitating precise composition. When unnecessary elements are removed from a design solution, clarity and impression are enhanced. Some decorative items may still be essential, and those should be retained. Our confidence stems from understanding the simple rule of discerning what can be omitted. When executed thoughtfully, this results in a more aesthetically pleasing minimalist design, aligning with our architectural ethos.

Which country’s architecture, aside from South Africa, inspires your practice the most?

The Mediterranean architecture of Greece has significantly influences our work. It’s a natural influence, given our similar climate, vegetation, and geology. The Greek vernacular architecture of the Cyclades offers a minimalist interpretation of the environment. The white surfaces allow other natural materials and vegetation to stand out as intended.

The Macchia vegetation on the Mediterranean coast is similar to our Fynbos; its muted shades can express a highly stylistic landscape design that complements architecture. We appreciate this natural expression and strive for simplicity, aiming for architectural forms that harmonise with nature. Our most recent project, Sunset Villa, reflects the Mediterranean influence.

What was the first project of your career, and which of your recent designs reflect your growth the most when compared to that project?

One of our initial notable projects was Thorn Street, located in the Upper Fernwood Estate of Newlands. It features an exposed off-shutter structure that remains visually appealing even today. Nearly twenty years later, our recently completed projects represent an evolution of this design style. We have refined our techniques, casting deeper cantilevers and longer spans, while incorporating reinforced concrete with waterproofing additives where necessary.




Scape Magazine is SA’s Home of Design, Build and Maintenance. Read the April 2024 issue—In Conversation withbelow:

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