In Conversation with Dion Walters


For Dion Walters, the balance between creativity and sustainability are the stars that guide Bomax Architects. After founding the practice in 2000, Dion endeavoured on a course of minimising negative impact while maintaining architectural integrity and excellence. Today, he stands as a revered name in the industry, and we got to talk to him about the simple rules that shape his prolific portfolio and professional trajectory.

How would you describe minimalism at its best?

Minimalism isn’t always visually striking; it’s about balance. The forms themselves become the essence of beauty, necessitating precise composition. When unnecessary elements are removed from a design solution, clarity and impression are enhanced. Some decorative items may still be essential, and those should be retained. Our confidence stems from understanding the simple rule of discerning what can be omitted. When executed thoughtfully, this results in a more aesthetically pleasing minimalist design, aligning with our architectural ethos.

Dion Walters By Justin Munitz

Which country’s architecture, aside from South Africa, inspires your practice the most?

The Mediterranean architecture of Greece and Spain significantly influences our work. It’s a natural influence, given our similar climate, vegetation, and geology. The Greek vernacular architecture of the Cyclades offers a minimalist interpretation of the environment, embodying the barren landscape. The white surfaces allow other natural materials and vegetation to stand out as intended. The Macchia vegetation on the Mediterranean coast is similar to our Fynbos; its muted shades can express a highly stylistic landscape design that complements architecture. We appreciate this natural expression and strive for simplicity, aiming for architectural forms that harmonise with nature. Our most recent project, One Sunset, reflects the Mediterranean influence.

In Spain, the opulent contemporary architecture of the Costa Del Sol sets trends that also impact our designs. It’s a dynamic, creative region where architecture responds to a glamorous lifestyle. While we maintain our simple, understated style, we’re undoubtedly influenced by their approach when designing projects destined for those regions.

One Sunset 1
Thorn Street 2 by Dion Walters

What was the first project of your career, and which of your recent designs reflect your growth the most when compared to that project?

Bomax was established in 2000, and one of our initial notable projects was Thorn Street, located in the Upper Fernwood Estate of Newlands. It features an exposed off-shutter structure that remains visually appealing even today. Nearly twenty years later, our recently completed House Llandudno project represents an evolution of our design style. Here, we’ve refined our techniques in casting deeper cantilevers and longer spans, incorporating reinforced concrete with waterproofing additives where necessary.

This article is an extract from our April volume, click here to read the follow volume!

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