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“Lasting Monuments”

Tim Styles
Impendulo Design Architects, Transkei

”Architectural design has introduced me to some of the most interesting personalities in the Eastern Cape,” says professional senior architectural technologist Tim Styles of Impendulo Design Architects. One of these personalities is Kaiser Matanzima, the previous Chief of Transkei. Tim had the privilege of having lunch at the dignitary’s home where the chief’s experiences at Lovedale College and the University of Fort Hare were detailed at great length. Meeting interesting figures like these has been a true highlight in Tim’s working career.

Tim developed a passion for design early. His distinction in technical drawing in high school provided the impetus to pursue architectural design. An opportunity at Smale and Partners in 1990 paved the way to mastering hand drawing techniques. From here he progressed to Ngonyama Okpanum & Associates (formerly Plan Architects) in 1994 where he was exposed to CAD.

“When I joined Ngonyama & Associates, I was given free reign to explore the capabilities of AllyCAD. Back then the software was still in DOS version and I found the initial learning curve to be quite difficult at first. Since the program has become Windows based, it has only grown in strength and provides excellent functionality. I have come to respect AllyCAD's capabilities and prefer the program above any other CAD package,” says Tim with conviction.

At Ngonyama & Associates, Tim worked on exciting appointments in the Transkei region. “The biggest highlight was my involvement at Qamata Great Place, just outside Queenstown where I met the former Chief Kaiser Matanzima. Other initiatives in the area included development projects at Mngqesha Great Place and Ngcadu Great Place near Butterworth. Here I assisted with the design of the village housing, a community centre with restaurants and various conference facilities. Many of these projects are still in progress,” he says.

After building a successful track record at Ngonyama & Associates, Tim moved to Impendulo Design Architects and is currently living his dream. The company provides a complete service in architectural design that encompasses everything from commercial, industrial, government and hospital developments. There is also a large amount of consultation with local communities to ensure participation and success in the projects being managed.

“At Impendulo Design, I get to combine my draughting skills with the technical aspects of architecture. One of the projects currently in progress is the concept and master plans for the Buffalo City Further Education and Training College. There is a huge demand for schools in the area as many of the current schools are dilapidated. The establishment of Further Education and Training institutions is therefore an important initiative.”

Tim has a varied role at Impendulo Design Architects. As the professional senior architectural technologist, he ensures that the freehand concept is input into AllyCAD. Designs are also expected to conform to government building standards as contained in the Department of Public works. Tim regularly checks quality levels and is actively involved in the implementation of each project.

Tim Styles

Tim started his career as a junior draughtsman in 1990. He has built an extensive track record at companies like Smale & Partners, Ngonyama Okpanum & Associates (formerly Plan Architects) and currently, Impendulo Design Architects. After teaching himself how to use AllyCAD, Tim soon became proficient enough to empower other junior draughtsmen to become skilled on the software. Tim is married, and has two sons, Liam aged 10 and Caleb aged 7. He enjoys outdoor activities and caravanning in his leisure.


“I manage the entire process from the preliminary design phase to the final contract administration. I also submit the completed designs to the client and ensure final sign off and approval. From here I liaise with the consultant team and contractor to ensure that the designs are constructed according to specification,” he notes.

Tim is passionate about architecture and believes it to be one of the most exciting disciplines in engineering. The eco friendly Eskom Park Offices estimated at around R39 million was an interesting application of architectural design. “The project needed to be self-sufficient which meant that solar energy would need to drive the entire operation. Heating and cooling systems to the building would therefore need to be designed around non pollutant materials.

“The recent trend to go "green" is evidence that architecture is changing to meet the needs of a changing environment. Architectural design is also becoming more creative as society affords to live more modern lifestyles,” explains Tim.

Meeting dignitaries, travelling to remote destinations, experimenting with art and form and being part of transformation in the Eastern Cape all capture the excitement of the profession. To Tim, it is all about being part of creating beautiful lasting monuments, and being an Architectural Technologist allows the creative freedom to accomplish just that.

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