House Munting

Co-Operative Design with Paul Munting


House Munting

Co-Operative Design with Paul Munting


Residential Home

Co-Operative design with Paul Munting

The triangular site that this house occupies is situated in Klein Windhoek on a small, prominent and hitherto undeveloped koppie in Uhland Street. The fall across the site from north to south is in excess of 12m with a 400 m² moderately sloped section on the south suitable for building. The site is extensively vegetated with indigenous plants and at the time of purchase was home to no less than 26 medium to large Aloe Ferox specimens. Unfortunately, by the time construction commenced the majority of these had died as a result of a snout beetle infestation.

The main design considerations were to preserve as much of the quality and indigenous vegetation of the koppie as possible, and to avoid destroying the pleasant view of this natural landmark as one travels northbound in Uhland street. In order to do so the building was positioned on the southwestern boundary of the site and the building operations restricted to the southernmost portion, off the sky line. Building materials were selected to blend into the natural landscape as far as possible.

The house is planned with service spaces on the southwestern edge along Uhland street to help control noise, and living spaces opening onto the quieter northwestern aspect of the site. Living areas are located on the upper floor in order to facilitate easy access onto the koppie from the timber decks and to exploit the beautiful views to the south and northwest.

Computer-generated sun studies were carried out for summer and winter conditions to ensure that the roof shape and extent control seasonal changes in solar radiation, thereby minimizing the need for artificial heating and cooling. Passive climate control strategies include direct solar gain for heating during the winter and the use of massive construction to absorb and store heat during summer. This stored heat is flushed out of the structure at night using passive ventilation though shuttered bedroom doors and windows on the lower level and clerestory windows on the top floor. Solar water heating is of course included from the outset.

Materials are simple and unfinished. Steel is permitted to rust and the bricks are left as they are, flush-jointed with white cement mortar. The use of timber for windows and doors helps to provide a softer and more residential quality whilst the stone cladding and gabion retaining walls visually bind the house to the site. Bricks are from Uis, manufactured from recycled mine dump material. They were selected primarily for their colour despite being too absorbent to really use as face bricks. Time will tell how well they hold up. Interiors are finished in smooth white plaster and paint so as to contrast with the rustic exterior.

Residential - Munting Rechholtz Architects

Project Details


Windhoek, Khomas Region, Namibia

Client Name

Paul & Karen Munting

Quantity Surveyor

Buhr & Fouche Quantity Surveyors

Structural Engineer

Bührmann & Partners Consulting Engineers


OJ Construction CC

Project Value

N$ 2.1 million




Madeleen Munting