Born in the Kalahari region of Southern Africa, the juxtaposition of the arid landscape with its occasional bursts of abundance formed the beginnings of Ernst’s interest in indoor and outdoor spaces, design and the relationship we have with our surroundings.
Ernst’s formative years were greatly influenced by alternative subcultures, and a weakness for Lego, cars and sci-fi movies. As part of his creative outlet, he successfully produced a range of Perspex jewellery and homeware in the late 2000s.
His architectural design heroes include: John Lautner for his boldness, Bjark Ingels for his process, Tom Kundig for his eye for detail, and locally, Gawie Fagan for his subtlety. “Architecture is the closest discipline humans have to functional art. It responds to how we live, as well as influences how we live,” says Ernst.
Taking on every project as both a design endeavour, and a personal responsibility, Ernst’s commitment has paid off in his clients’ gratification. He works on projects of various scales, alongside clients who have an appreciation for design and well-considered spaces. His hands-on approach ensures the following of a rigorous process with a close-knit team of specialist consultants, expert manufacturers, artisans and suppliers.
Each project starts development after a core concept has been formulated, and every project is as unique as the client and context.