Renske Haller: The architect
Renske Haller @renskehaller is the Managing Director of dhk architects @dhkarchitects , where in addition to steering the ship, she leads the company’s team that focuses on private residences, boutique hotels and galleries.
Renske is an example of one who has known their life purpose from a young age - she tells us that she has wanted to be an architect since about the age of four, possibly influenced by the fact that she hails from a creative household and has an architect for an uncle, thus the profession has featured in her frame of reference from a young age. Her singular focus on architecture concerned her parents so much so that when she applied to the University of Cape Town’s School of Architecture, they asked her a few times whether she was sure and if she did not want to consider other professions or perhaps have a back-up plan. Her university vacations were spent working for her architect uncle and she also did internships in Cape Town and the Netherlands before heading to London after university, where she worked as an urban designer for Urban Initiatives. She credits this period working on urban design for changing how she viewed architecture. In 2006, Renske returned to Cape Town to join her uncle’s firm, dhk, and her first project as the lead architect was the stylish wine estate, Delaire Graff @delairegraff , in Stellenbosch. In 2009, she made partner and in 2014, she was promoted to Managing Director of the firm and currently also sits on the dhk design review board.
Renske believes that a building should be rooted in its context and this is clearly visible in one of her more recent projects, The Norval Foundation @norvalfoundation , which has won a number of awards including: an A’ design award @adesigncompetition, a Fulton award @ and a South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA) award.
We are inspired by Renske’s clearness of purpose at a young age and how she has harnessed that focus in becoming the accomplished and celebrated architect that she is today. In her spare time, Renske and her husband make wine, a hobby that they started in her parents’ garage, but that has grown over the years and now has its own label, Black Owl @black_owl_wines . The wine is however not commercially available as yet (watch this space).
Featured artist: Katy Cambridge @the_portrait_artist