In Zambia on the Chongwe River, a tributary of the Zambezi, Robin and Jo Pope hired safari guide Neil Rocher to design a safari retreat whose undulations follow the contours of the trees he used as the frame.
The main room contains the sitting and dining areas. A winter thorn trunk, appearing as if it had fallen there, serves as a table base and bench seating.
“The concept,” designer Neil Rocher explains, “was an organic termite mound coming up from the ground.”
Even the baths—where the showers are waterfalls and some of the basins are carved out of Zambian stone by sculptor Eddie Mumba—look right out over the river and the bush. There are no doors in the house, but curved entrances ensure guests’ privacy.
Rocher aimed for a fortified aesthetic, though he left one side entirely open. “Nature on your doorstep”.
Rocher salvaged 25 dead leadwood trees, weighing five to seven tons apiece, to form what he calls the superstructure of the house.
Architectural and Interior Design by Neil Rocher
Photography by Tim Beddow
All images and information from Architectural Digest.