Principal MSa architect, Michele Sandilands was born in Zambia and has lived and worked in Botswana, London and now, for many years, Cape Town, where she has planted her roots both personally and professionally.

She graduated in 1985 from the University of Cape Town with a first-class pass and distinction in Studio Work and Building Construction and has not stopped designing since.

Michele’s architectural career started at GAPP as an architect-in-training after which she moved to MLH Architects as a Design Architect. A three-year stint in London and Gaborone, Botswana, was followed by a return to MLH in 1990. Michele left there as a Director in 1997 to start her own company, MSa Michele Sandilands Architects. She also serves as an external examiner at the University of Cape Town and the University of Pretoria.


Michele loves well-crafted spaces filled with sunlight which, she believes, have a profound effect on the wellbeing of the inhabitants.

Her reputation for visually sensitive, environmentally responsible and appropriate design is evident throughout MSa projects. Education is a key interest of hers – she is a firm believer that environment can influence attitude and outcomes.


As principle of MSa, Michele is actively involved in many projects around Cape Town and further afield. Michele brings a wealth of expertise to MSa, having co-authored many award-winning buildings, such as the environmentally challenging and historically sensitive upgrade, conversion and restoration of the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway and new restaurant on the Upper Table.

All projects are underlined by a sustainable approach: the use of local materials and skills where possible, and utilizing latest technologies to decrease energy usage.


Michele is committed to human-centered design and the belief that well-designed spaces are integral to a sense of serenity.

As a specialist in the design of educational buildings, offices and houses of varying scales as well as garden design, this allows for the application of these philosophies within MSa’s designs.