Secondary School at Onawa

New Secondary School

 

Secondary School at Onawa

New Secondary School

 

Secondary School at Onawa

New Secondary School

 

Secondary School at Onawa

New Secondary School

 

Secondary School at Onawa

New Secondary School

 

Secondary School at Onawa

New Secondary School

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Educational - Munting Rechholtz Architects

Educational – Phase 1 and 2

Documentation and construction of a new secondary school in Onawa in the Omusati region.

Onawa Village is located 30km North-East of Outapi in the Omusati region, close to the Angolan border. This region is the second most densely populated region in Namibia. Whilst more than 95% of young children have access to primary schools in this area, less than 10% of people resident in the area have a secondary school education. The Ministry of Education thus sought to address this need by providing a new secondary school at Onawa that will accommodate 1000 learners.

The site is located in the Cuvelai drainage system, and thus floods on a yearly basis when the “Efundja” flood drains from Angola into the Etosha pans. The design of all the building structures had to take cognizance of this and allow for water movement through the site and ensuring access to all buildings without learners having to wade through knee deep water in order to attend classes. All buildings are thus raised on platforms 500mm above ground and connected to each other via raised walkways.

The Outapi area is renowned for their stunning population of large baobab trees- the most famous one being in Outapi, currently the central attraction of the Ombalantu Baobab tree heritage site and campsite. That magnificent tree served as a post office, chapel, and hiding place during tribal wars in Namibia. The site on which the Onawa school is situated also boasts with some impressive specimens, and care was taken to ensure that these trees were preserved and incorporated in the design. Other large indigenous trees such as a variety of Ficus species, Marula and Purple pod Terminalias were preserved and buildings placed around them, ensuring cooling shade areas closeby the new buildings. Seventy-seven new indigenous trees were also planted in Phase 1, with more planned for Phase 2. The trees planted were mainly fruit bearing indigenous trees, since these are of nutritional value to the local population and thus would be looked after better by the residents. A central space in-between the classrooms allows for a seated area with benches and trees for students to enjoy their lunch at break time.

Omusati area is situated in a warm region of the country, characterized by hot, wet summer months with high humidity and temperate winters. Passive design for this area concentrates on limiting solar radiation into buildings, whilst ensuring good cross ventilation to make optimal use of natural breezes to cool spaces. There is a very high level of solar radiation, which ensures optimal operation of solar water heaters, installed throughout the project for hot water generation.

Educational - Munting Rechholtz Architects
Educational - Munting Rechholtz Architects

Since the school is located in the rural areas, provision was made for hostel accommodation for 600 students, allowing students from neighbouring villages to attend the school. Besides the normal academic subjects, the school also will teach technical subjects such as hospitality and tourism, design and technology and electronics. Specially designed classrooms cater for these courses. The school is also equipped with a computer/IT laboratory, science laboratories, and a school library. The dining hall for the dormitories function also as the school hall and is located central to the site. The hall is large, and a central raised portion allows for the ingress on natural light and ventilation into the main space, thus ensuring sufficient light and ventilation in the daytime. Large overhangs to the north and south on all the buildings create effective sun shading and protection from excessive heat gain. All ceilings are also well insulated to ensure maximum thermal comfort inside all facilities. The dormitories all have internal courtyards, which are planted with trees, that provide private shaded social space for residents.

The colours chosen for the school reflect the blues of the sky and mirages in the landscape of the rainy season. Roofs are all finished in off-white Chromadek finishes to ensure maximum reflection of the summer heat. Natural clay brick pavers from Namclay near Uis (produced from recycled clay extracted from old mine dumps in the area) dampen the harsh white Ovamboland sands with their soft pink hues.

Educational - Munting Rechholtz Architects

Project Details

Location

Onawa, Omusati Region, Namibia

Client Name

Department of Works, Namibia

User Name

Ministry of Education, Namibia

Civil, Structural, Mechanical and Electrical Engineers

Burmeister and Partners

Quantity Surveyors

Hendrik Herselman QS

Contractor

Qingdao Construction

Project Value

Phase 1 – $N51 Million
Phase 2 – $N56 Million

Project Status

Phase 1 Completed 2014
Phase 2 Completed 2016

Photographer

Markus Weiss

 
 
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