Althea’s design ethos revolves around the idea of architectural Poetics. Every design of any component of a building contributes to the language through which that building is read or experienced. The contribution of the client is to enrich the poetics of that building or project by placing their personal histories and identities into the making of the project. As a teacher and mentor Althea attempts to instil this as part of the learning of young architects in the making.
Althea has a keen interest in larger-scale projects, which challenge her in trying to make complex buildings, poetic places to experience.
Part of exploring complexity in buildings leads Althea’s interests to the city, particularly Joburg, which is where her post-grad thesis was based.
As Director and Co-founder of LEMONpebble architects she also has an interest in the growth and evolution of South African architecture and urbanity in the minds of its citizens. The rapid changes in the image of the urban landscape begin to influence how people evaluate their local environments.
Althea has worked on multi-storey residential and corporate buildings, large and middle scale residential buildings, as well as public facilities such as clinics and libraries. She and her practice are uniquely placed to address the challenges of developing spatial equity in the post-apartheid built environment. This context provides opportunities to remake the city based on the multiple and fluctuating identities of all its citizens.
She regards her experience, identity and the relationships forged with others in the industry as valuable to future projects as well as her personal growth and learning to make better architecture and environments.
Althea also has a keen interest in writing about the experiences of practising and making architecture, photographing our ever-changing context, examining our urban context within the dialogues around identity and spatial transformation agendas, and she occasionally writes poetry.