Nico van der Meulen is the CEO and one of the founding members of Nico van der Meulen Architects.
The firm is run alongside his wife Santa, and his sons, Rudolph, and Werner van der Meulen.
Nico grew up on a farm near the border between South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe and spent most of his childhood building bridges and structures using whatever material he could find on the farm. This was the first expression of Nico’s passion for architecture.
He initially studied civil engineering and worked for about 12 years as a project manager, and finally registered as a professional architect after being approached by the South African Council for the Architectural Profession. Nico is also a registered Green Certified Professional and member of the Green Building Council of South Africa.
Having been involved in construction for many years before starting to design full time and registering as an architect, Nico has over 40 years’ experience in the building industry.
In addition, he has also refined his long-time interest in eco-sensitive, sustainable African architecture which he actively promotes. He was lead architect on the creation of estate rules in 5 developments involving nearly 4000 houses, with several of these developments being in eco-sensitive areas.
Under Nico’s guidance and with two of his sons following in his footsteps, the firm has grown into a family legacy. Each member of the family has established their own reputations within the design industry for their talents in architecture, interior design, decor, painting and sculpting.
Santa van der Meulen, together with her son, Rudolph, started M Square Lifestyle Necessities, a décor and design service specializing mainly in Italian brands. Santa, an artist in her own right, is behind most of the captivating paintings featured in the luxury residences designed by Nico van der Meulen Architects.
Rudolph van der Meulen grew up in his father’s practice and after completing his Masters degree in Architecture at the University of Pretoria in 2004, felt it was only natural to join the company. He decided to start an in-house interior design firm (M Square Lifestyle Design) and the idea for the décor service grew from there.
“Our goal is to fuse architecture and interior design by offering the full service from initial concept of the house right through to the designer accessories that provide the finishing touches to a contemporary interior.”
Werner van der Meulen studied at both WITS University and Central University of Technology in Bloemfontein, completing his Masters in Architecture in 2005. He has designed many of the breathtaking homes to come out of the architecture firm, such as Kloof Road House, House Boz, and Blair Atholl.
Regardt van der Meulen, being the youngest of the 3 brothers, saw a different path to the one laid out before him by his father and brothers. He studied fine art and interior design at the University of Cape Town, and has become one of the most sought-after sculptors in his field. His work is inspired by time, memory and mortality.
“The sculptures are metaphors for not only the vulnerability of one’s physical body but also one’s emotional and mental state. I used steel as a medium which is usually associated with the impression of unmoving strength. I sculpted each figure in a way that creates the notion that they are incomplete, melting or being pulled apart, deconstructed by a force either from within or without.” Regardt’s sculptures can be found all around the world, as well in most of the homes designed by Nico van der Meulen Architects.