Based in Cape Town, Robert de Jager Architects is a small practice focused on bespoke architecture.

“I believe the success of our project was due to the collective efforts of a remarkable team. The core – the architect, quantity surveyor, site foreman and myself – was supported by the skills and good-will of the building team. Central to this team, of course, was the architect, Robert de Jager, whose extraordinary architectural skills and aesthetic sensibilities were able to develop my vague vision of a “compact, elegant little gem” into a three-dimensional reality. Robert’s passion for good design, his dedication to getting the detail right, and his willingness to work with the client throughout the process has created a marvelous home and a life-experience to treasure.”
Jane Prinsloo, owner and client of House Burnett-Prinsloo

Robert de Jager Architects works on projects from inception to final handover, addressing wholly new projects, building alterations and additions, heritage-linked interventions, as well as aspects of interior and furniture design. Over 25 years, the practice has been engaged in roles ranging from solo input to multidisciplinary engagements. Artist-architect collaborations have also been a unique feature of the practice.

Contemporary architectural practice necessitates the liaising with and instructing members of the professional team. Depending on the nature of the task, this may include consultants for town planning, structural, mechanical and electrical specialists, and consider aspects of ecological and sustainability issues. Robert de Jager is directly involved in all stages of work co-ordination, collaborating with staff and consultants according to the demands of each project.

Our services

Robert de Jager Architects bases all commissions on principal architectural considerations which include:

“Our primary purpose at Robert de Jager Architects is to orchestrate our client’s vision in a way that is finely attuned to their needs, the locality and real, physical constraints, with the intent to deliver a product that surpasses the initial brief”.
Robert de Jager, Principal Architect, Robert de Jager Architects

  • Understanding the client’s specific needs and defining the client brief
  • Articulating formal and programmatic responses
  • Advising on procedure and contracting


The work of Robert de Jager Architects is characterised by diverse approaches to the resolution of site-specific design challenges. Spatial inventiveness is combined with a discerning sense for material qualities, an aspect that sets Robert de Jager Architects apart.

“Robert has a tremendous sense of space planning and it really made the difference in fulfilling the potential of the home.”
Irma McPherson, client, House Teare.

“…the house and cottage are absolute gems in their execution. Each detail testifies to a designer who is both very sensitive but also understands the making of things. The panel was impressed by the use of materials, in particular the timber. In today’s rushed world and with the obsession of cost, this is a unique piece of work that will survive the passage of time. Both client and architect should be commended for this finely crafted house.”
Cape Institute of Architects (CIFA) 2001 Citation Award of Merit – House Raynham

“It is obvious that architect Robert de Jager and his client were on the same page from the start. The design went through its evolutionary process and resulted in a building where everything feels just right…Inside, spatial and functional efficiency was maximised. Circulation space was kept to a minimum, so this relatively small house feels roomy and unconstrained. Spatially and architecturally, the house is free from superfluous elements. There are no nonsensical stylistic references – the pragmatism and care with with it has been designed and built are the means of architectural expression. This is where the poetry of the building comes into play. Every aspect of the structure displays the hallmark of a talented, responsible architect with an impressive depth of knowledge of the broad field of architectural culture. Sometimes the temptation exists to make predictions about a building’s future role in history. Looking to those houses and other buildings that have played a role in defining our collective architectural history in South Africa, one would like to think that this home might just be the subject of one of the chapters in this story.”
Professor Paul Kotze, “Pure Poetry”, Visi Decor No.89, Apr/May 2017, New Media Publishing Pty (Ltd), South Africa.

Recent News

Cape Institute for Architecture (CIfA) Awards:

On Monday 2nd October 2017, Robert de Jager Architects was recognised as one of the Regional Winners of the Cape Institute for Architecture (CIfA) Regional Awards for Architecture for the project House Burnett-Prinsloo.

“If the architect version of Goldilocks were to skip along the forested banks of the Liesbeek River and came across this home, she would declare it “just right”. House Burnett Prinsloo is a compact, elegant house comprising two distinct yet connected pavilions with an enigmatic street interface allowing glimpses through to a tumbling riverfront garden. At the client’s request, all the mature trees on the site were kept. This informed the footprint of the buildings to be tight to the street and to open up to the garden, affording views while in search of sunlight.
A particular design challenge for this project was to allow for flexibility of use for different life stages and scenarios: to craft a home that is comfortable and intimate enough for one person, but which could also cater for a future family, the owner’s workplace, a tenant, or a live-in caregiver. The apparent ease with which this was resolved in a relatively small house with a modest budget attests to the skill of the architect and close collaboration with the client. This collaboration is evident throughout the home in the thoughtful resolution of storage and utility areas to leave a neutral backdrop for small moments of delight and personal expression. The particular achievement is the design of a seemingly generously spacious home which belies tight and clever planning, and appropriation of all interlocking spaces for maximum purpose.”
Cape Institute of Architects (CIFA) 2017 Citation – CIFA Award for Architecture

Held at the CIfA head office in Cape Town, the Awards evening signalled the completion of stage 1 of the Awards programme, which runs over two years, with the objective to recognise and promote excellence in architecture and to create public awareness and debate on architectural issues.

The second stage of the programme starts at the end of 2017 with the submission of entries by the regional panels of assessors for consideration of the SAIA Award of Merit and the SAIA Award for Excellence. A national panel of jurors, convened by the SAIA president, will convene after receipt of the projects by the National Office.


Current Projects

The practice is currently engaged in design and council approval stages for an extensive transformation of a 1970’s-era structure in the Cape Town city bowl. The project aims to update and modify the accommodation, and will include the introduction of a basement cut into the mountain-slope, passenger elevator, terraced garden, and swimming and reservoir pools.

early model