SAOTA was founded in 1986 in Cape Town, South Africa. Their projects span over 86 countries, across 6 continents and in 143 cities. This makes SAOTA perfectly positioned to manage the requirements of remote working without sacrificing quality or project deadlines.
With its core business in architecture, SAOTA built its reputation on high-end single residential developments. Over the last decade it has evolved into a company with a much broader scope that includes a variety of building types: commercial, hospitality, public and cultural, master planning and multi-residential (apartments and housing estates).
SAOTA also boasts a large number of local and international awards spanning over 25 years. “Our most recent award was another CIFA award – the highest regional honor – for our Kloof 119A project in 2019. Local recognition is important to us," says Bullivant. Any recognition is important and appreciated, especially with the immense effort put in by the hardworking teams in our studio.
“The studio culture is central to our process; ultimately design is about people, interaction, and collaboration,” says Bullivant. “Working from home, we’ve managed to maintain that work ethic. We still have regular meetings and design forums; they are just digital now.”
Bullivant says that a lot of the design studio’s work and meetings were already online due to its global client base but there are some elements they needed to adapt to. “One of the challenges has been losing office infrastructure that one takes for granted, like printers and a fast internet connection.”