10 Ossmann Str, Windhoek, Namibia
Wasserfall Munting Architects

The refurbishment of a 1950s residence in the suburb of Klein Windhoek offered an opportunity to explore the spaces required for living against a fixed plan template, while re-establishing connections to the site and context.

Completed in April 2013, the house is reinterpreted as a pavilion set on an embankment within an oasis of indigenous acacias. Designed for near-empty nesters, the key challenge was to create flexible space for living and relaxation – breathable space with ready access to the outdoors – packaged as a low-maintenance lock-up-and-go with a couple of extra bedrooms for come-and-go adult children. 

In a somewhat non-descript neighbourhood, the next-door residence provided architectural clues, particularly in the choice of materials and finishes: clay-brick, off-shutter and exposed-aggregate concrete, stone and rusted steel. By contrast, the interior is enveloped by the warmness of plywood linings, partitioning and built-in cupboards.

The intervention establishes programmatic clarity and simplicity, attempting to create simple, robust spaces to live in. The double-volume living area with its butterfly roof and clerestory windows to the south is the heart of the house: sliding doors provide a seamless connection to a terraced patio overlooking the garden and distant mountains. The kitchen too has windows framing the trees outside. 

Passive design principles employed include a ventilated steel-clad façade, solar water heating and shading devices. All stone used is from the site, precast concrete fence panels were reused as stepping-stones, the front door is a salvaged prison gate and the brick is from a rehabilitation project where clay is extracted from old mine slime dams. Framed steel mesh panels are utilised for security and fencing.

The sensitivity with which the house imposes on the site is enhanced by beautifully crafted mica stonewalls that link natural and man-made. Passage of time – rusty red walls and established vegetation – will allow the house further to settle within its surroundings

No Comments

Terms & Conditions   |   Privacy policy   |   Cookie Policy