Located on a peninsula covered by a dense tropical forest, Entebbe Forest Lodge is an attempt at harmonising the often opposing requirements of nature conservation and luxury hospitality and at arriving at an architectural language characterised by modesty and craftsmanship. Given the dense vegetation, it was decided right from the outset that the design would have two different characters; an introverted ‘forest lodge’ with small wooden cabins on stilts, carefully placed within the dense forest to avoid cutting of trees and to afford guests with a real nature experience; and a more extroverted ‘lakeside lodge’ with a main building that is placed at the edge of the forest, overlooking terraces, pool and open lawns towards a spectacular drop to Lake Victoria.
The cabins are intimate 63m² large double or twin rooms. Bedroom, living area and outdoor deck are accommodated within a suspended wooden structure that is clad on the outside with charred eucalyptus offcuts. Warm and cozy interiors are created by waxed eucalyptus flooring, hand-applied earth-pigmented lime plaster and local woven mat ceilings. The bathrooms are located within sculptural stone-clad volumes that intersect the wooden structures at their gable end. Large glazing provides a direct connection to the forest environment. There is family cabin featuring two interconnected cabins sharing a large central deck.
All public buildings are placed along the edge of the forest and could therefore be placed on solid stone bases, including outdoor stone terraces which extend the buildings into the landscape. Other key building elements are similar to the cabins, including wooden floors, generous steel windows and timber-clad ‘makoko’ roofs. An elegantly curving swimming pool picks up on the language of the outdoor terraces of the main building, carried on by a sweeping path to the lake where a circular sundowner terrace is placed right at the top of a cliff, overlooking natural beaches on either side.