The Electoral Commission Of Namibia

New Regional offices

New Regional Offices

Oshakati, the capital of the Oshana region and the second most populated region in Namibia, has experienced dramatic urban growth in recent years. In order to better serve this growing community, the Electoral Commission of Namibia appointed Munting Rechholtz Architects to design a new regional office building from which elections and referenda can be directed and in order to promote democratic electoral processes in the region.

The corner site selected for the project is accessed via a gravel road which acts as the defining line between a large, dense township to the east and a sparsely developed city block which includes other newly constructed institutional buildings such as the GIPF House, the Social Security Commission Regional Head Office and the Oshana Regional Study and Resource Centre.

In the Oshiwambo language the name Oshakati means “that which is in between.” By placing a public building such as the ECN Oshakati Office on a site wedged between an area designated for new development and the largest township in Oshakati, an opportunity arises for an important link to be established between the two.
In order to promote a continuous street front that is sympathetic to pedestrians, the building extends to the perimeter of the site thus reinforcing the street edge and placing the building in the public realm. Large, transparent ground floor windows create a visual connection between the private and public sphere. Planters with trees line the sidewalk to soften the street edge and buffer the building from traffic. The building is wrapped around a generous internal atrium space which introduces light into the heart of the building and acts as a communal gathering space.

The ground floor serves as an entirely public zone and includes a resource centre and coffee shop which spills out onto the atrium. Above are two floors consisting of offices, meeting rooms and a multi-purpose hall for up to 500 people. All circulation takes place within and around the atrium thus creating visual connections between the levels and greatly alleviating the need for corridors and superfluous spaces.

In order to create optimal environmental performance and reduce the building’s energy consumption, every aspect of the design of the building was considered, starting with the building’s orientation and form to reduce the requirements for mechanical ventilation and artificial lighting. Solar protection is provided on the North and East façades by means of large perforated aluminium screens which also give the building its unique image and identity.

Project Details

Location

Oshakati, Namibia

Client Name

Department of Works, Namibia

User Client

Electoral Commission

Structural Engineer

WML Consulting engineers

Me Engineer

Conselect Consulting engineers

Quantity Surveyors

Buhr, Fouche & Partners

Project Staus

In Progress