The (hi)story of David Krynauw is repeating itself. Born in Piet Retief, a South African town surrounded by woods and economically driven by timber and paper industries, Krynauw learned early on in life about the purposes and beauty of wood. His father, who owned a town hotel, decided that rather than buying generic furniture he would create his own and developed a great passion for woodwork in the process. It was a passion that he passed onto his son David. Upon finishing school, Krynauw decided to study agriculture and winemaking, but soon realized that he kept returning to the craft of furniture-making. His stylish wooden creations can be found throughout the hotel.
Established in 2008 by graphic designers Katy Taplin and Adrian Hugo, the Johannesburg-based Dokter and Misses develop furniture and lighting solutions. The husband-and-wife duo’s work has become synonymous with the city: bold shapes, strong construction, and outside-the-box design solutions. Utilizing a wide range of techniques, such as hand tools, laser-cutting, and painting, their work remains both eclectic and timeless. The pair find their biggest inspiration, however, in human form: each other.
The question of weighing form versus function is no doubt as ancient as design itself. For Gregor Jenkin—a “maker of things”—that tension acts as a thread that runs through his work. His studio focuses its attention on the physical act of creation and solving problems systematically, using design as a byproduct of their process. Jenkin’s work includes table and seating solutions as well as lighting. For Gorgeous George, he designed one of the most eye-catching features: the handmade, stainless steel legs found on the hand-turned basins in the bathrooms.
A natural born polymath, Laurie Wiid van Heerde combines his own skills with those of fellow designers and artists. His work ranges across a variety of materials and products such as tableware and lighting to furniture and collectible objects. But he’s most known for his work with an oft-overlooked material, cork, producing the world’s largest pendant light and cabinet. At Gorgeous Gorge, he settled for more traditional materials, that of handmade steel, timber, and reactive glazed ceramic tiled side tables in the lobby.
The interdisciplinary artist’s interest in snakes and reptiles is a multi-faceted one. It began when his grandfather taught him how to catch a snake at age 10. He developed an instant fascination. Later, he collected frogs and lizards and milked snakes and spiders to produce anti-venoms and other medicinal products. After his grandfather’s death, Brits started working through the scrapbooks and notes that were left behind and started transforming them into art, predominantly paintings. With a deep interest in yogic and Hindu tradition, the snake symbol also symbolizes psychic energy for Brits. His large-scale paintings can be found snaking their way across the walls of Gorgeous George.
Gorgeous George is featured in the Design Hotels Book. The 2020 edition marks an innovative new editorial and artistic direction for the design anthology, created in collaboration with some of the world’s leading photographers.