Two SAOTA designed projects – DDS in São Paulo, Brazil and La Reserve in Dakar, Senegal – have been shortlisted as finalists for the World Architecture Festival (WAF) Awards 2021.

Project Name – DDS in São Paulo
Studio Name – SAOTA
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Photography: SAOTA

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DDS is SAOTA’s first project in Brazil and is shortlisted in the House – Future Project category. The design of the house is based on the idea that culture, landscape, architecture, interior design, furniture and art form a whole. The architectural precedents of Brazilian Modernism and particularly Paulista Brutalism are apparent in the design of the house.

“Fundamental to the whole design is the notion of the experience of architecture. The building is not an object but rather a series of experiences. From the dramatic arrival sequence, the house sets up a playful engagement with the experience of space and landscape,” say SAOTA Director Greg Truen.

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Shortlisted in the Leisure Led Development – Future Project category, La Reserve is a hotel resort situated on the outskirts of Dakar in a semi-arid landscape interspersed with Baobabs. The precise location of the Baobabs played an integral role in the masterplan design, along with the positioning of key buildings on-site to create a dynamic and poetic relationship between these colossal trees and the resultant architecture.

“All the buildings share a common thread in that the same themes underpin them, that being an architecture that is very closely associated with the site via the use of natural material,” explains Phillippe Fouché, Director at SAOTA. “This creates an architecture that is rooted in place, that not only respects its surroundings but elevates it and promotes a closer connection to the landscape.”

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WAF is the world’s largest, live, inclusive, and interactive global architectural awards programme and festival held in Lisbon, Portugal, from 1-3 December this year.


Rethinking The Future (RTF) is a Global Platform for Architecture and Design. RTF through more than 100 countries around the world provides an interactive platform of highest standard acknowledging the projects among creative and influential industry professionals.