Lindy Roy

South African (Cape Town, South Africa, 1963)

Okavango Delta Spa, Botswana. View of guest pod at sunset

1997
architectural drawing | computer-generated print
Not on view at this time; find out where you can see works from our collection at locations around the Bay Area while our building is closed for expansion
  • Okavango Delta Spa, Botswana. View of guest pod at sunset

    Lindy Roy, Okavango Delta Spa, Botswana. View of guest pod at sunset, 1997; computer-generated print, 12 in. x 10 in. (30.48 cm x 25.4 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Accessions Committee Fund purchase; © Lindy Roy


Commissioned by the private safari company Uncharted Africa, the Okavango Delta Spa was designed for a site deep within Northern Botswana's Okavango River Delta, a stretch of water in the otherwise arid Kalahari Desert. Accessible only by small aircraft, this holistic health retreat was intended to introduce the comforts of a resort to an extreme natural environment.

Roy's project places seven open-air, thatch-roofed guest accommodations within natural clearings of the site's papyrus beds. Though secured to the delta floor, these plantlike "pods" appear to float like petals on the water's surface; their canopies spiral into the wetlands, offering protection from the elements. A small floating fiberglass unit containing a bathroom is tethered to each lodging, allowing for seasonal variations in the water level.

The guest pods are connected in pairs by a network of buoyant fiberglass-and-wood walkways that are anchored to and wrapped around islands formed from the remains of abandoned termite mounds. Fiber-optic cables are woven into the handrails, lighting the walkways by night. Two larger structures house the health spa and dining pavilion. The design's most unique feature is a crocodile-resistant lap pool, powered with outboard motors so it can be maneuvered through the delta's inlets.


12 in. x 10 in. (30.48 cm x 25.4 cm)
Acquired 2002
Collection SFMOMA
Accessions Committee Fund purchase
© Lindy Roy
2002.24.5

Tags

architecture, architectural drawings, buildings, exterior perspectives, Botswana, Africa, Spas, visionary architecture, fantastic architecture, palms


From June 3, 2013, through early 2016, SFMOMA's building on Third Street in San Francisco will be temporarily closed for expansion construction. Selected artworks in our collection are included in a range of off-site exhibitions during this period. We regret that the remainder of the collection will not be available for study during this time.

In the meantime, we invite you to explore a wide selection of our collection online. Please note that the information presented online is subject to revision. Please contact us at collections@sfmoma.org to verify artwork details.

This resource is for educational use and its contents may not be reproduced without permission. Please review our Terms of Use for more information.