Hill House, Windhoek

Additions & Alterations

 

Hill House, Windhoek

Additions & Alterations

 

Hill House, Windhoek

Additions & Alterations

 

Hill House, Windhoek

Additions & Alterations

 

Hill House, Windhoek

Additions & Alterations

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Additions & Alterations

Hill House is an addition and alteration of an existing house built in the early 1960s. Located in Klein Windhoek, the house is situated on a sloped site overlooking the Olaf Palmer ridge with a spectacular view towards the Auas mountain range in the south.

The original double-story house, which is primarily south facing, comprised of three bedrooms, kitchen, dining, small living area, veranda and pool upstairs, with a downstairs lounge, guest bedroom, garage and entrance portal. The house was an amalgamation of consecutive additions and alterations, which ultimately lacked coherence and function. The primarily south-facing orientation caused the house to be extremely cold and quite dark in winter. The stunning southern view over the Klein Windhoek valley also remained entirely uncelebrated.

The client brief required that the plan be simplified to maximise spaces, to include additional rooms and a swimming pool, and to provide a visual connection to the surrounding scenery. The house required a general upgrade in terms of finishes and overall ambience. The brief also emphasised that proper consideration be given to passive design to optimise potential heat gains and natural lighting from the north.

Residential - Munting Rechholtz Architects
Residential - Munting Rechholtz Architects

In response, the architect enlarged the upstairs living area, creating a generous and usable social area which opened up to the outside veranda and views beyond with large wooden foldaway doors. The roof over the main living area was raised to allow for a north-facing clerestory window, flooding the space with light and warmth and resolving some of the challenges related to a south orientation. In addition, an efficient wood-burning fireplace was installed in the upstairs area to provide active heating in the cold season. The primary upstairs spaces and bedrooms all look out onto a courtyard with a swimming pool that overlooks the Olaf Palme ridge. Openings are strategically placed to provide the house with cross-ventilation and natural cooling in summer and to forge a unique relationship to the natural landscape close by. Some views are framed, in others the boundary between inside and out is blurred, such as the corner windows in the living space. The entrance to the house was redesigned to create a more inviting landscaped arrival space, with additional green shade parking for guests. The security gate to the house and the nearby gate to the garden space is celebrated by means of two artistically crafted metalwork gates by local artist/metalworker Mr Hanno Becker (Ferrite Shapes).

The result of this intervention is a house that is more in harmony with its location as well as a pleasant and ultimately very liveable residence.

Project Details

Location

Hill House, Olaf Palme street, Klein Windhoek, Namibia

Client Name

Private

Quantity surveyor

Buhr · Fouché & Associates

Structural Engineer

Franscois le Roux Consulting engineers

Contractor

Burmeister Nel Developers CC

Photographer

Madeleen Munting