no limits

Architecture is limitless. An autonomous artform that provokes emotion, transcends any boundaries and challenges the status quo. Architecture should be free.

“It is extremely important that I remain free in my own mind to achieve the goals I set for myself” – Tadao Ando, 1996

Being limited by perceptions, regulations and requirements, often result in recipe architecture or a stylistic approach. Our challenge is to free ourselves from this practice and allow architecture to speak for itself, to be what it wants to be.


What we believe

We believe in the experience of architecture, the way it affects peoples’ lives, the way it makes people feel. Our goal is to create a positive experience for everyone.

in design principles that matter. Call it “Green” call it what you like as long as it contributes to something bigger than itself.

in a truth to materials, honest buildings, materials exposing themselves for what they are. Beauty lies in the simplicity of the palette.

great relationships shape great buildings. A building project is as much of a journey to us as it is to our client. We believe in sharing visions and negotiating terms in such a way that new lasting relationships are formed, more often friendship.

Years experience


Our featured Works

Witzenberg Valley House

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Limpopo Nature Reserve House

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Paradyskloof House – Renovation

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Boutique Winery Design Stellenbosch

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Vineyard House Stellenbosch

View Project

Our Skills

In our studio you will often find us having an architectural debate, explaining ideas and concepts by building scale concept models and drawing by hand on the drawing board. This culture enable us to develop rich layered concepts with a much better understanding of the architecture.










Our  Team

Liezl van Niekerk

Director – Architecture

“Keep healthy, stay positive and grow while living an energetic and full life to the service of others.”


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About Liezl

Liezl was born in Port Elizabeth and received her National Diploma (N-Dip) and Baccalaureus Technologiae (B-Tech) in Architectural Technology from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University where she was awarded the best CAD student award in her final year and was invited to join the International Golden Key Society due to excellent academic achievements.

Upon completing her 2-year term as candidate she passed the professional practice exams with the South African Council for the Architectural Profession with distinction. She worked for a well-established architectural firm in Stellenbosch and gained years of invaluable experience in all sectors of Architecture, including student housing, office buildings, dwelling houses, hospitals, motor showrooms, wineries and many more.

Liezl shows love and passion for architecture and people. Her approach is humanistic and she always places a lot of emphasis on the client’s experience, and those of the users – one of the founding principles of freestudio architects. She believes in Sustainable design and is always searching for ways to make her architecture more responsive to the environment. She has a way of connecting with clients and she uses these connections to build lasting relationships.

Apart from architecture she loves running and challenging herself on a physical level. See her in action at the 2018 Comrades Marathon.

Francois Malan

Director – Architecture

“Nothing is impossible, today is our treasure and tomorrow our goal.” 


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About Francois

Francois was born in Bellville and received his National Diploma (N-Dip) and Baccalaureus Technologiae (B-Tech) in Architectural Technology from The Cape Peninsula University of Technology. During this time, he showed an affinity for design and conceptualizing technology and he won many related awards and competitions.

After four years of working as an Architectural Technologist he went back to further his studies at the University of Pretoria where he completed his post-graduate degrees, Honours and Masters in Architecture, with distinction.

His first employment as an architect was in the studio of Martin Kruger Associates where he was part of a team producing award winning architecture. In 2017 he co-founded Freestudio Architects and started a life long dream to explore the nuances of architecture. He calls himself a student of architecture and loves to study the works of the architectural greats of our time and the past. His passion for vernacular architecture can be seen and experienced in all his work.

Francois believes that you can be and achieve anything at anytime with the right mindset and attitude towards life. This thinking together with hard work has enabled him to complete extreme endurance events like Ironman, ABSA Cape Epic and a 360km single stage mountain bike race.

Liezel Malan

Office Administration

“To learn a new skill is almost as good as achieving a personal goal.”


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About Liezel

Liezel is a sports and wellness enthusiast with an affinity for numbers, equations and stats. Her career to date has been dedicated to be an active part of the sports arena – from both a knowledge and participant perspective.  She graduated with a BA in Sport Science and furthered her learning through additional courses in beauty, wellness and sports training.  She loves to challenge herself in terms of endurance and have completed 5 Ironman events.  As a Sports Event Soigneur, she thoroughly enjoys working as a project manager for private Clients at events such as the Cape Epic, Cape Pioneer Trek, Wines2Whales – doing everything from massaging to enhance speedy recovery to planning meals, shopping, nursing, laundry and post-race nutrition.  Her key strengths are loyalty, honesty and a meticulous approach to any task.


Some might describe her as a perfectionist and enjoying ‘looking after’ and caring for others, but here at freestudio architects we enjoy her energy and the scrupulous way she handles the finances and office management.




Where to Find us

Loft 1A, Blackhorse Centre, 52 Dorp St, Stellenbosch Central, Stellenbosch, 7600, South Africa
Latitude: -33.939773 | Longitude: 18.85446

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