Modern Townhouses in Victoria Falls, by Pantic Architects

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Heather Jones
Heather Jones
I'm Heather, an author passionate about home improvements. My writing is your guide to making homes better. Let's explore easy ways to enhance your living spaces, from small fixes to exciting projects. Join me on a journey of making your house a cozy and stylish haven.

As the largest waterfalls in the world. Victoria Falls are one of the natural wonders of the world. Tourists flock from all over the world to experience its sheer might, and the city surrounding the falls has been growing especially in the last few years. The need for housing has increased dramatically and Pantic Architects were engaged by a local developer to design a large residential development with apartments, townhouses, stand-alone houses and villas.

Housing development

The design subdivided the large plot into smaller areas, with distinct entrances and styles of houses. The first cluster was formed of apartments in two-story buildings, the second of garden flats, the third independent houses and the last large luxurious villas. Each cluster was treated differently and had a unique style and approach.

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Masterplan concept

A central parking space was proposed for the cluster with the townhouses. This design allowed the townhouses to be immersed in greenery and only pedestrian pathways to lead up to the individual units. The architectural designer planned for a total of 30 twin residential units in the development. The approach would be from a central walkway, surrounded by indigenous vegetation, with as many existing trees to be maintained and protected during the construction. 

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Creating variety

Although repeating, the houses were also mirrored and shuffled in respect to one another. This broke up the monotony of the same design and created interesting spaces and different moments in the development. The size of the blocks of townhouses was also changed increasing variety. Lastly, the individual units were painted in different colours creating a new look for each townhouse. The overall effect was of diverse houses and not a repetitive row of identical houses.

Townhouse open plan design

The townhouses all develop on two floors, the ground floor housing the day areas, while upstairs are the bedrooms. The entrance gives onto an open plan living, dining and kitchen area, that continues outside through a covered veranda. Also located in the corner is a small guest toilet and scullery tied to an external drying yard and refuse area.

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Veranda and private garden

With Zimbabwe’s warm client the external veranda is an extension of the living room. The continuous view through the whole ground floor and attached veranda gives the feeling of a much bigger area. The veranda faces a private garden separated from the neighbours with privacy walls, giving an intimate natural space. The continuous view from the inside to the garden brings the natural elements into the man-made spaces.

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development flats duplex

Upstairs there are three bedrooms and attached bathrooms. The split in zones allows for parallel activities to take place in the house at the same time.

Passive temperature control

Summer heat plays an important role in Victoria falls. As such significant consideration was given to the orientation and location of the townhouses in respect to the sun. All openings were given physical shading to prevent direct sunlight from penetrating into the house in the form of louvres or roof overhangs. The veranda is fully covered with a lean-to roof protecting the external sitting area from the sun and rain.

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Additionally, cross ventilation pathways of the townhouses were provided and the whole roof is thermally protected and naturally ventilated. 

Renewable energy and sustainability

All the townhouses were designed to be orientated towards the North, providing excellent solar exposure for solar energy generation. A photovoltaic system was planned for together with battery storage to enable self-sufficient houses, independent from the grid. Solar geysers were also catered for together with boreholes to provide the necessary water, together with communal water storage in large tanks. 

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The whole development should be self-sufficient and will generate its own power and water, minimizing its impact on the environment.

The modern townhouse development in Victoria Falls by Pantic Architects was a creative and fun approach providing new ideas and answers to an ever-present housing problem.

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