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The brief was to deliver a world-class, affordable, serviced-apartment hotel that would strengthen the position of Pretoria as the capital of Africa. The design had to bridge international and local identities. It was vital to replace the restrictive atmosphere and lack of natural light found in typical hotel corridors with open, welcoming spaces. The concept of ‘keeping it local’ combines a vernacular design context with international influence. Indigenous vegetation is proposed for all landscaping and contemporary local art, textiles, wall prints and furniture will populate the interior. The steel-pressed ceilings and wooden floors of the houses currently on site will be used to add local identity. The main internal staircase invites non-mechanical vertical circulation; this big, open entrance space encourages occupants to use the stairs rather than a lift. Instead of the standard dark hotel corridor, a light-filled atrium contributes to the user experience of being outside in a natural landscape.