Holiday Lodge with a view in Tanzania

Images from World of Architecture

All images © Stevie Mann

Johannesburg-based architectural firm Nicholas Plewman Architects designed this lodge in Ruaha National Park, Tanzania. Jabali Ridge is a beautiful, sophisticated building set amid huge granite boulders with mesmerising views across the vast wilderness of the National Park.   It overlooks a landscape dotted with spiky palms and bulbous baobabs and blends seamlessly into the natural surroundings with an elegant, contemporary style.   It’s truly a special place to stay.

The building has a low-profile balustrade which offers undisturbed views of the National Park. Emerging from the raw landscape, the lodge is made of a permeable timber structure to provide unrestricted vantage points to immerse the visitor in the wilderness. Tensile Cables wanted to showcase this magnificent lodge to illustrate the importance of the unobtrusive balustrade.

If you love to sleep among natural raw materials, furniture and fixtures, this small vacation place can be a perfect choice. All rooms are completely open to nature, but guests are also able to close the structure with wooden shutters.

One of the primary design drivers was that the lodge shouldn’t be visible to the human eye from a distance,” said Nicholas Plewman Architects. The result is a building that blends seamlessly into the rocky outcrops of the region.”

Tensile Cables offers slim 3, 4 and 5mm Balustrade cables that deliver the simplicity of unobscured views and are a great addition to any balustrade. Our cables open your view of the wonderful African bush and are ideally suited to any balustrade or deck, be it for a lodge, or your town house in the city, or overlooking Table Mountain or the Atlantic Ocean.

Our Grade 316 Stainless Steel products are ideally suited for typical indoor or outdoor environments. The high quality and finish of our Stainless-Steel cables and fitting ranges is well known, making us the supplier of choice in Southern Africa.

Cummings: Suspended Staircase in Waterfall City

Tensile Cables was commissioned by A & D General Services to supply stainless steel cables to suspend a two flight staircase at the Cummins Southern Africa Regional Offices (CSARO) in Midrand. The Cummings Building forms part of the new Urban developments in the Waterfall Logistics Precinct in Waterfall City.

While other solutions were attempted to secure the staircase from a structural point of view, cables offered a more aesthetically pleasing solution to secure the staircase in the relatively small opening between floors. As you can see from the images the installed cables disappear and allow for a clean view through the open spaces whilst at the same time structurally still providing the required support.

Tensile Cables supplies Marine Grade 316 stainless steel cables and both 16mm and 6mm cables were requested to fulfil the brief.

See the photo story below. Images supplied by A & D General Services:


Dr Pixley Memorial Hospital external sun louvers

Tensile Cables was tasked by Robertson Ventilation Systems with supplying Stainless Steel cable systems to structurally support external sun louvers for the Dr Pixley Ka Isaka Seme Memorial Hospital near Bridge City mall, north of Durban. External building facades have a direct impact and cost saving on the energy requirements of a building.

Tensile Cables manufactured 10mm Stainless Steel cables systems to length according to the specifications of the project. We supplied our specialist 10mm Swaged Toggle fork to Swaged Turnbuckle system and made all the cables up to length with our specialist in house swaging equipment.

The R2,5bn level 2 regional hospital, will serve as a referral center for all surrounding public health care facilities, and will alleviate pressure from the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hospital, which currently has a massive catchment area.

The brand new 500-bed Dr Pixley Ka Isaka Seme Memorial Hospital will open its doors, bringing quality healthcare service delivery to more than 1,5 million people of Inanda, Ntuzuma, KwaMashu (INK) and surrounding areas.

The new hospital will prove a full spectrum of up-to-date world-standard medical services consistent with the norms and standards adopted for all public health facilities in South Africa.

Among its many innovations is energy saving system with the building façade and a water harvesting feature through which rainwater will be harvested and then used for irrigation and ablution.

Colored Pavilion by Architect Martin Pelaez

Image from ArchDaily

Text description provided by the architects. Multicolored Pavilion, is a 50.0 m2 play pavilion designed for Fundaland, the inclusive and supportive park of Fundación A LA PAR. The Foundation works towards the rights and participation of people with intellectual disabilities in society. It has the archetypical shape of a house to show that it is an inclusive space, a home for all. It celebrates diversity through color, and the alliance between people by the intersections of the color lines.

The pavilion building process is divided in four principal milestones: platform, structure, graphics and envelope. First, a rectangular platform of reinforced concrete of 13 meters long and 7 meters wide, was built in an outdoor enclosure of the park. In second place, the structure, a 5-meter-high metal gabled skeleton was installed on site anchored to the concrete platform.

The structure designed in parts to be easily assembled in place, shortening execution times. The 3 main gabled frames were joined by 12 beams and 12 cables, that brace the main structure in all directions. It was completely assembled in 6 hours. As a supportive feature to the structure work, two large steel doors of 2.5-meter-long by 4.5-meter height were installed on the front elevations.

These big doors have three purposes: ensure the natural ventilation of the space, frame the views of the greenery of the surroundings from the inside, and keep the activity of the space visually open to everyone, in matter of fun, communication and control.

The custom-made colors chosen for the project, conceptually respond to a blend of the primary colors and the corporate colors of Fundaland.



Product feature – Wood screw to concrete system

One of the many balustrade systems that Tensile Cables has to offer is our iconic wood screw going into wood and terminating into concrete on the opposite side.

This system is very suitable to use when there is no access behind a wood post or concrete pillar or when you can’t move the post or go through it. Terminating into a post or pillar without going all the way through the post has the added benefit of looking very aesthetically pleasing. The woodscrew thread terminates approximately 39 mm deep into wood and the concrete side requires around 80 mm of concrete/brick to terminate into.

This system can be quoted for, along with our other balustrade solutions, directly from our website. Visit the Products page and select the balustrade system of your choice. Select the size and quantity you require and add the solution to a quote request. Fill in your details and send, and we will revert with technical sales assistance and a quote.

4 mm socket woodscrew to socket woodscrew. Is available in 4 mm cable option only.

Marine Grade 316 Stainless Steel

A Timber and Cable balustrade in Durbanville

In the beautiful suburb of Durbanville, famous for its incredible views and wine Estates, like Diemersdal, a local resident wanted to modernize the old Stainless-Steel balustrade staircase in this home.

The wooden staircase winds its way centrally up 3 stories to the top floor. Robert Mckendrick from Scotchworx was contacted to assist with the new design and installation of this natural looking Solid Oak handrail and Meranti wooden posts blending in perfectly here with the wooden floors. 90 mm Meranti end posts and 70 mm intermediate posts were also painted white to match the white finishes of skirting and doors.


Hanging Gardens at the Perez Art Museum, Miami

Image from ArchDaily

The outside of this exquisite building creatively meets with what is inside the Perez Art Museum. Designed by world renowned Artist Patrick Blanc, the vertical gardens at the entrance to the museum are inspired by the hanging gardens of Babylon.

The hanging gardens were created out of fibreglass tubes supported by galvanised steel structural tension rods and struts.

Not only for aesthetics and art, the gardens serve another purpose:

“Tropical plants selected for their resilience to the local conditions engulf the structural system [of the museum]. Roof and plants combined will create an overall microclimate reducing the extreme temperature gaps between outside and inside in the hot weather.”

Miami’s famous lush vegetation and tropical climate demanded a translation between these assets and the architecture of this building.


A second suspended staircase

In May 2019, we featured an impressive staircase by GL Welding suspended by cables for a minimalist finish in a clients home.

They have since installed a second staircase at the residence, also featuring a complimentary glass balustrade. The cables are neatly secured into the ceiling and fitted to the edge of each stair, with a stainless steel rail running across the cables to finish.

Not only do the cables provide the structural support for staircases such as these but they serve as a balustrade too – one which doesn’t obscure the space and keeps the stairwell light and airy.

The images below show both the overall finished installation as well as the neat stainless steel fittings and rail.

Enclosed courtyards liven up urban areas

“Internal courtyards bring light and ventilation to buildings that are constrained by party walls – ideal for high-density areas – plus they offer welcome outdoor space in urban areas.” – Nemone Bieldt of Indigo Architects in Cape Town, Visi Magazine.

With the square meterage of homes becoming increasingly smaller and more urbanised, it is essential to find opportunity for outdoor spaces despite constraints.

Indoor enclosed courtyards offer a solution – they can be open air, but they can also have retractable roof solutions or a tension fabric structure.

Take a look at some enclosed courtyards featuring Tensile Cables in the photo story below.

This courtyard in Constantia, Cape Town shows how a green wall trellis can bring more greenery into a courtyard space by decorating a blank wall.

This unique roofing solution by Tension Structures in this indoor pool offers natural light despite the enclosed space.

While not strictly a courtyard, this tensile structure by Tension Structures turns this stairwell atrium into a sunroom at Hibernian Towers in Strand, Western Cape.

Surrounded by the office block and the greater Cape Town CBD, this courtyard is beautifully zen covered with this tensile structure by Tension Structures and yet still well lit and open.

Timber and Cables Staircase Balustrade at Residence in Hout Bay

Robert McKendrick of Scotchworx Carpentry turned his skilled trade to his own residence for this transformational solution to a flatlet at his home in Hout Bay. Situated on a rise surrounded by mountains in the beautiful suburb of Hout Bay in Cape Town, McKendrick has made valuable changes to his property to capitalise on the views at the premises.

Scotchworx Carpentry is the company responsible for many elegantly beautiful balustrading solutions Tensile Cables has had the privilege of supplying cables to. Other examples include this installation at the apartments The Lofts in Tokai, Cape Town.

The staircase to this flatlet originally obstructed the interior of the household by extending into the garage and entrance way. McKendrick’s solution to add a balcony and external staircase alongside the building results in a decorative feature of timber and stainless steel tensile cables balustrade with metal scrolls which McKendrick installed himself.

Timber as a solution for the railing of the balustrade is a significantly more cost effective option which is also more time efficient. The cables are a minimalist addition which offer security and compliment the timber and decorative steel work.

Scotchworx Cable Balustrade Scotchworx Cable Balustrade Scotchworx Cable Balustrade