About

Lisa TolkinLisa Tolkin lives in South Africa with her two daughters Gabby aged 16 and Kaitlin 13.
She graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Witwatersrand in 1989. Her apprenticeship involved the intensive study of classical architecture and detailing. In 1994 Lisa started her own practice,
Lisa Tolkin Architects.

As a women I believe that my work sets itself apart through my focus on the special feelings that spaces evoke. What distinguishes my work is my passionate love of creating homes that nurture the soul.

Every room is designed around how one feels in space. I believe that a home is a sanctuary and that it should be designed around its function, the views and most importantly how the furniture fits.

Designing around natural light is key. The garden should be the most important furniture in the house, the eye should anchor on a beautiful tree or a special view.

In the morning the owner should wake up to the rising sun, hence the preffered positioning of the bedroom and bathroom on the east.

The west sun is harsh ,so we avoid west light and just embrance glimpses of the sunset.

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Over my 21 years of being an Architect I have learnt that people often find building to be a daunting experience. It is often the largest amount of money they ever spend at one time and it is my responsibility to make sure that the project is professionally and responsibly managed.

To achieve this I advise the client to use a professional team, including the QS, engineer and master builders with a good track record.

We advise the client on the budget, how to save costs, how long the project will take, and most importantly how to avoid the pitfalls that clients may have experienced in the past.

We believe in using experienced contractors, subcontractors and artisans, some we have worked with for over 20 years.

I believe that using a Quantity Surveyor and going to tender is essential ,this avoids the unpleasantness that people often experience. The whole process is transparent and costs are market related. Site meetings are held every week, minutes are taken every second week .Samples of finishes are presented to the client and we often travel all over the world to source special products. Since we are dedicated to quality and detail we often produce over 200 detail drawings.

I believe that clients shouldn't have to worry about the stress of building, I am the one who should not sleep at night.

I also believe that I am only as good as my last house built, so each project is embraced with my commitment to excellence.

Our houses are designed with respect to environmental and energy issues. We recommend and advise the use of green and energy efficient systems.Our buildings are designed in a responsible way to to reduce our carbon footprint,energy and water consumption.