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Ballot Street Offices
Windhoek, Namibia

HOWARD and CHAMBERLAIN: Architect

Date:2011
Client:Western National Insurance Company
Type:Offices
Status:Extant
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The site is located in an old neighbourhood in Windhoek, which lies in the transitional zone between residential and commercial areas. The challenge was to design a building with a corporate image, yet simultaneously fit into the surrounding cityscape of residential houses.

Due to the natural slope of the site, basement parking was included by means of minor excavation resulting in a satisfactory height that does not dominate the roofline of the area. The entrance is recessed from the street creating an open courtyard in front of the building that spills out to the street. Planters, courtyards, balconies and a water feature are incorporated into the design, creating a relaxed atmosphere in the corporate building.

The Namibian vernacular style used in the design of the offices reflects the direct context. To give the building a sophisticated touch, the corners were dissolved with butt jointed glass. Furthermore, the plaster bands where made thinner to give the windows a crisp edge. A glass strip underneath the roof creates the idea of a light, floating roof. This contributes to softening the scale of the building.

Ballot Street Offices celebrates a changed Namibian typology within a developing urban context.

(Howard & Chamberlain)