Riaan Marais - Director
Architect Riaan Marais is one of the founders and directors of CONNECT ARCHITECTS. He graduated from the University of the Free State with a Bachelor in Architecture (BArch) in 1997. He also completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Practice (RIBA Part 3) at the University of Westminster, London, UK in 2005.
Riaan is a qualified Architect and was elected to membership of the Royal Institute of British Architects - RIBA in 2007.
Previously Riaan was one of three directors of KMMA, a leading architectural practice in Cape Town. Riaan, together with his brother Henk, represented the MM in the brand of KMMA.
KMMA was established in 2018 in recognition of Riaan's contribution to the partnership of Kotlowitz Marais Architects (KMA), a business formed some 15 years before between Henk Marais and Ben Kotlowitz.
Riaan joined the practice in 2012 after spending 13 years working as an architect in the United Kingdom. Riaan has acquired extensive experience in sustainability design and has completed high-end commercial, residential, retail, mixed-use, education, and leisure projects. Each one of the UK commercial buildings he worked on was accredited BREEAM Excellent whilst the more recent mixed-use projects in South Africa were accredited GBCSA Green Star 4*.
His experience ranges from new buildings to remodelling and refurbishment projects for both public and private sector clients with projects being procured through a variety of methods including traditional, design and build, and PFI-PPP. Riaan’s experience of working in both large commercial practices and small design-led practices has given him a thorough understanding of the business of architecture. His pragmatic, analytical approach to finding solutions, coupled with a strong work ethic, has proven to be invaluable when designing and delivering complex projects.
His core belief is that change is essential for growth and that flexibility and collaboration bring the best results in life. Thus, the relationship between an architect and his client is crucial – the best buildings are created when a good architect gets to work with a great client.