Exceptional 10 Ossmann Street Residence In Windhoek, Namibia

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Jane Mullock
Jane Mullockhttps://myfancyhouse.com/
I'm Jane, a writer fascinated by houses. My stories are about the magic of homes and the people in them. Let's explore the secrets and joys houses hold, and discover the amazing stories behind every door. Come join me on this house-loving adventure!

Built in 2013 and designed by a firm named Wasserfall Munting Architects, the beautiful 10 Ossmann Street residence can be found in Windhoek, Namibia. The current home represents a renovation of an older abode from the 1950s, and it is located on an elevated position amidst a remarkable selection of acacia trees.

The 10 Ossmann Street house flaunts exquisite panoramas of the Klein Windhoek valley due to its orientation towards the north, and it is separated from other nearby homes by a rocky ‘koppie’ that can be found on the side. The exterior appearance of the abode flaunts a rugged yet modern and appealing look that was achieved by blending rusted steel, mica stone and exposed aggregate concrete elements. The interior features an atmosphere of warmth and coziness thanks to a series of plywood linings and built-in cupboards.

One of the most important areas within the residence is a large double-volume living space that boasts clerestory windows and a butterfly roof. A series of sliding doors allow access to a terraced patio that offers fantastic opportunities for relaxation and socialization while benefiting from fabulous views of the mountains in the distance.

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As far as sustainability is concerned, this wonderful home was equipped with solar water heating systems and shading systems, but it also features a ventilated steel-clad façade.

From the Wasserfall Munting Architects:

Architecture belongs to the site.

The refurbishment of a tired 1950’s residence in the verdant suburb of Klein Windhoek offered an opportunity to explore the intimate spaces required for living against a fixed plan template of the existing, while simultaneously re-establishing connections to the site, broader landscapes and contexts.

Completed in April 2013, the house is reinterpreted as a pavilion set on a steep embankment within a tranquil oasis of indigenous acacia trees. 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 but with a couple of extra bedrooms for come-and-go adult children.

Prominent features of the site include a rocky ‘koppie’ that separates the house from the neighbouring residence and a pronounced fall towards the north. Located on the highest portion of the site, the house enjoys north orientation and beautiful views across the Klein Windhoek valley.

In a neighbourhood of a somewhat non-descript character, the next-door Munting residence provided salient architectural clues, particularly insofar as the choice of a limited palette of materials and finishes was concerned: clay bricks, off-shutter and exposed aggregate concrete, mica stone and rusted steel. In contrast to the robust exterior, the interior of the building is enveloped by the warmness of its plywood linings, partitioning and built-in cupboards.

Ill-considered alterations and additions to the old house over the years made for an impractical and incoherent plan layout. The intervention brings a sense of programmatic clarity and simplicity, and attempts 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 open to a large terraced patio overlooking the garden and affording panoramic views of the distant mountains. The kitchen too has windows framing the trees in the garden outside.

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

The sensitivity with which the house imposes on the site is enhanced by the 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 surrounding landscape.

 

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