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Our client wanted us to design an office park of around 650m2, not necessarily utilizing the total allowable bulk, but to create a friendly, inviting office environment, without cluttering the site too much.
The site is on the busy intersection of Sam Nujoma Avenue and Jan Jonker Avenue, Klein Windhoek. There was an existing house and outbuilding on the erf with a lot of mature trees.
We wanted to reuse the footprint of the existing buildings and keep as many of the trees as possible.
We knew we had to create a tranquil courtyard to blank out the street noise as far as possible. The whole design is thus focussed around this central courtyard. We wanted to retain the domestic scale of environment and wanted to make sure that the surrounding residential buildings will not be overwhelmed by this office development. We envisaged a complex that is "familiar" and friendly and easily negotiable.
The existing house and outbuilding were retained and both received a second story. The outbuilding became the focal point as one enters the complex from the main gate. The new double story units were added slightly angled towards each other. The architecture was kept very simple and timeless. The buildings serve as tools to frame the court yard. A 15m long pond anchor the court yard and provide "white noise".
The court yard is extensively landscaped. We also ensured that all the spaces between the buildings and boundary walls were also landscaped, resulting that when any door or window is opened, one looks onto something green.
We designed canopies over the top floor windows to control the sun. The ground floor windows are protected by deep verandahs. Interior spaces are airy with high floor to ceiling heights. Windows without canopies received sliding louvres for sun control.
The challenge in developments like this is usually to fit all the parking bays onto the erf in accordance with the Municipal requirements. In this development we managed to fit all the parking onto the site in a manner where it is slightly hidden away but still easily accessible.
We wanted to create a fuss free and low maintenance environment where clients would look forward visit but also an environment which provides a creative and tranquil backdrop to the very busy tenants. Materials used reflect this approach.
We were very satisfied when all these components came together and we really believe that the total is much more than the sum of the parts.
(DEIDRÉ DE WAAL ARCHITECTS)
All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.