Orton Architects is a Pretoria-based design practice founded on the ideas that buildings can build a bridge between culture, nature and people, and that inspiring buildings can have a positive effect on people’s lives.

Led by Jacques Orton, the firm’s work can be found across the globe, with projects ranging:

  • cabins/chalets
  • homes (often for art collectors)
  • mixed-use & commercial
  • cultural and civic projects
  • museum & exhibition design
  • hospitality design
  • places of worship

We believe that architecture should be rooted to its particular place by using the best local materials and craftsmen. Our vision is to create buildings that are environmentally responsive, authentic, artful, tactile and modern.

While we are very proud of the buildings we design, we derive a great sense of accomplishment from our “family” of talented individuals we have assembled around us.

We also value every engineer, contractor and craftsman who forms an intricate part of the success of our projects. Their knowledge of construction and system performance is integral to any design and leads to sustainable and practical buildings.

Another important team member is the client of course. We have had the opportunity to work with amazing individuals and families who not only supported, but also inspired and challenged us. Through their dreams we are given the opportunity to realize our own.

The firm began its creative existence in 2010 with the architect Jacques Orton, who strongly believes that buildings can serve as a bridge between culture, nature, history and people, and that inspiring surroundings have a positive effect on people’s lives.


Among the firm’s accolades is the 2010 Innovative Learning through ETDs Award.

‘His plans to revitalize an aging urban centre in the outskirts of Pretoria are now the talk of scholars and urban planners who are advocating for legislative policy change.  His vision presents the tremendous potential to turn-around the poverty ravaged areas of his home town and transform this region through micro-economic development and provide a model for others around the world including developers in far-away Detroit, Michigan and many other gentrified urban centres’.

Articles on the firm’s work include: TUIS magazine (Feb 2015), SA Home Owner (Aug 2016), SA Home Owner (Sept 2018).

Top Billing publication (22 May 2018).


Often, architecture becomes the vessel that supports specific art installations. In many of its projects, the firm works with artists & craftspeople to fabricate specific elements that support the overall design. Buildings are collaborative efforts that involve not just the architect, but the contractor and the workers as well. Craft is an outgrowth of Orton Architects contextual approach to design, as working with these artists helps our work tell an authentic story of its place.


By designing in harmony with the land, we create buildings that, through their massing, materials and orientation are sustainable. Homes should be designed to receive the maximum amount of northern sunlight and not be cramped gloomy boxes.

Passive design and keeping the carbon footprint as low as possible should always be paramount. They should be easy to upgrade, built to last and designed so that new features can be added easily.

The building materials should be tough, tactile and durable. They should age well, have a low environmental impact and offer its inhabitants a primed canvas upon which they can personalize their lives.


Although we tend to price projects on a case by case basis, this is a guide to the services and project packages we offer to our clients.