• Classrooms for University of Namibia/ Wasserfall Munting Architects

Architects: Wasserfall Munting Architects  
Location: UNAM Main Campus, Windhoek,  Namibia
Interior Décor: Wasserfall Munting Architects
Project Year: 2011
Photographer: Marcuss Weiss
Website: www.wma-arch.com

Architecture is and always will be an educative process, a path that forever guides you to what the human soul seeks. It is the firm behind every stride, the constant desire to reach form within, and this is what Wasserfall Munting have been able to achieve with the new classrooms at the University of Namibia. With the campus experiencing an unprecedented and exponential growth in student numbers over the years, there was need to re-look the spatial requirements of the campus and the classroom expansion was one of the first such projects and was conceptualised as an infill development on the site of the old swimming pool, which was earmarked for demolition.  

Classrooms for University of Namibia/ Wasserfall Munting Architects

The architects further state that "basement pump room was converted to a study center and a series of public outdoor spaces were created around the buildings that serve as lobby and holding spaces for students between classes. Expanded mesh screens were installed to create a shaded micro-climate around the exterior and outside areas were landscaped with both hard and soft elements to create usable social spaces."

Classrooms for University of Namibia/ Wasserfall Munting Architects

The firm endeavored to use local materials, a cliche term but forever impacting within any environment. The project seems to be reminiscent of an industrial yet safe haven for a learning experience. It is the steel, metal sheeting and red brick that give the project its characteristic south architecture, perhaps borrowed form a dutch background in earlier years. The choice of exterior finishes was guided by a desire to reduce the maintenance requirements thereof as far as possible, while at the same time creating a dialogue with the natural materials and colours of the surrounding veld. Cavity walls and a well-insulated envelope serve to meet both the thermal and acoustic insulation requirements. 

Classrooms for University of Namibia/ Wasserfall Munting ArchitectsThe project received an award of Commendation from the Namibia Institute of Architects in 2012.The lecture theatres here sit 350 and are all positioned inside the original pool in order to capitalize on the excavation and lower the costs associated with the raked floors. Its all about the cost details when it comes to successful architecture that impacts the social and economic realm.Classrooms for University of Namibia/ Wasserfall Munting ArchitectsClassrooms for University of Namibia/ Wasserfall Munting Architects

Ultimately, this is an environment that uplifts the role of the architect as a conveyor of knowledge.


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