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This Hunting Game Lodge in Namibia by Slee & Co Architects Adopts Earth-based Construction to Create a Modernised Vernacular

Project TItle
Game Lodge
Location
Khomas Region, Namibia
Area
578 sqm
Year of Completion
2018
Architects
Slee & Co Architects
Project Architect
Yvonne Onderweegs, Slee & Co. Architects
Builder
Baucon Construction, Windhoek
Engineering
Balt Beyers, DG Consulting Engineers
Photography
Gerard Slee, Carla Schnetler, Johann Slee

The philosophy behind the design of this 578 sqm Hunting Game Lodge is to incorporate and respect the diverse aspirations and heritages of the clients;  to learn from advanced technologies and to create a vernacular architecture, embracing Namibia’s unique people, skills, climate and space.  

The architectural palette has its origin in the earth – muted earth colours, textured finishes  reflecting abundant sunlight.  The built structures reflect simplicity and honesty, echoing the vernacular of local built forms.

A farm gate set in a red earth wall introduces the visitor to the unique character of this hunting farm/game lodge. From the entrance, a red dust road leads through a Savannah grass veld scattered with thorn trees. Upon approach, the lodge slowly emerges out of the spectacular red earth, a solid mass with deep shadows and simple lines blending into the surroundings;  a low slung linear structure offering shelter against the harsh Namibian environment.

The red sand from the farm is mixed into the cementitious plaster which renders all walls the same colour as the surrounding earth. The horizontal textures are raked onto the walls which create shadow play and draw the eye into the vastness of the landscape.

A cantilevered roof folds over a spinal wall which protects and frames the over-sized veranda, allowing for unobstructed views.   The elements and palate of this lodge are simple:  corrugated roof sheeting, natural red sand coloured plastered walls, cement floors, and expansive glass doors which disappear into the walls when opened up, eliminating the boundaries between the outdoors and the interior spaces. The project earned a CIFA (Cape Institute for Architecture) commendation as well as a Bronze Loerie Award in 2019.