Molori Safari Lodge: This Luxury Interior Design Project By Hesse Kleinloog Studio Unmasks The Joy In Design

The journey of the Molori Safari Lodge project began amid uncertainty, offering a spark of joy during the Covid pandemic. In a world filled with masks and disjointed experiences, the project emerged as a source of fun, frivolity, color, and art, providing a much-needed respite from the prevailing gloom.

Planning for a future when visitors would return to South Africa inspired the Hesse Kleinloog studio team to create a space that radiated joy and positivity. Initially, the interior direction of the Molori Safari Lodge project was a small light intervention. The circular nature of the buildings posed a significant challenge, leading the design team to address this issue first.

The goal was to ensure that the refreshed interior seamlessly complemented the existing circular architecture. The spirit of adventure from the owners played a crucial role in steering the entire design process, fostering a collaborative atmosphere of feedback, criticism, and debate.

Main lodge lounge in Molori Safari Project By Hesse Kleinloog Studio
Main lodge lounge.

Running parallel to the main interior refurbishment was the Floor Rug Project, a unique venture inspired by Mallory’s circular buildings and the owner’s remarkable art collection. The project evolved from a minor quest to create rugs that transcended the ordinary. Collaborating with artist Chris, the team sought to turn unseen artworks from South African artists into distinctive floor coverings, making art an integral part of the design.

Molori Safari’s main lodge at Mallory is a luxurious retreat featuring four dining areas, a library, and a well-appointed bar. The living and bar areas seamlessly connect to an outdoor deck with a hot spa bath and twin infinity pools, while a rim-flow chilled spa bath on the highest mountainside deck enhances wildlife viewing. Various relaxation decks, including reading and star decks, provide serene spaces. Comprising five open-air suites, Molori Safari emphasizes privacy and exclusivity, with each suite featuring retractable glass walls leading to private decks and pools, creating an intimate connection with nature.

The process of finding artists took around two months, involving extensive research, meetings, and discussions. The collaboration with a company in Pine Town, Durban, allowed the team to translate artists’ dreams into tangible floor coverings for the Molori Safari Lodge. The engagement with artists like Maya Marx and Jodi Paulsen showcased their unique ideas and dreams, providing the foundation for creating visually stunning rugs.

We found this company in Pine Town in Durban and we just bamboozled these poor people with pictures and hyper-controlling demands for photos and development… The engagement with each of them was more about the ideas that they had, that we could take. They were dreams that we could take and create a new picture of their dreams…”

Andrea Kleinloog – cofounder HK Studios

The collaboration with artists was an organic and natural process, with the team asking artists if they were interested in contributing to this unique project. From Maya Marx’s adoration of the process to Jodi Paulsen’s imaginative components for banana rugs, each artist brought their dreams to the table. The process required trust and collaboration, as the team navigated the challenges of translating artistic visions into physical reality at the factory.

Bedroom in Molori Safari Project By Hesse Kleinloog Studio
Main bedroom in the Sephiri suite.
Sunset view from the Molelo lounge.
Artsy rug in the Molelo lounge.
Main bedroom in Presidential suite.

The Molori Safari Lodge project defies conventional lodge design genres, offering an adventurous and spirited vision of a safari experience. Beyond the usual connections with nature, HK Studios, through their work, emphasized joy, humor, and entertainment. The project, with its unabashed joy, stands out as a unique and unusual package of wonderful curiosities. From service to staff, location, and overall experience, Molori Safari promises an unparalleled and unforgettable journey, leaving visitors pattern-flawed by the exceptional design and atmosphere.

“It’s just a uniquely unusual package of wonderful curiosities.”

Andrea Kleinloog – cofounder HK Studios
Main lodge pool deck.

All images sourced from the Rora Private Collection website

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