Namibia needs a more integrated architectural model
Namibian architectural giant, Kerry McNamara Architects, earlier last week engaged with the Economist with regard to the recent architectural awards received by the company, as well as the general architectural needs of the country and what makes their work distinctive in the industry.
In an interview, Mr Rowan McNamara, co-manager of McNamara architects shared that McNamara architects recently announced as the overall winner and were awarded First Place for the Social Security Commission (SSC) Central Urban District design competition.
The competition brief asked for the provision of excellence in design that articulates a design response to climate, social and physical contexts of the site.
Kerry McNamara Architects firm was awarded First place by the Independent Jury on 5 February 2015. The building unique design has a ‘canyon link concept’ that slices the building through the central area of the site. The design provided dynamic architectural features, such as secure, comfortable and desirable public access from Independence avenue to freedom plaza.
McNamara further said successful projects are those that present an integrated solution to the demands of the various components of building procurement. These include the appropriate physical and aesthetic response to the client’s requirements, but also include cost effectiveness, environmental appropriateness, energy efficient operation, return on investment, marketability and building maintenance considerations.
“This success lies in our analytical approach to the unique problems presented by each project. No two projects are the same. We approach each project with an open mind so as to not impose pre-conceived solutions,” he explained.
Other interesting projects that are currently under the scope of McNamara Architects, include a new Aqua Centre for Dolphins Swimming Club and various commercial and mixed use developments including the much anticipated Eumbo development on Sam Nujoma drive in Klein Windhoek where architecture, public art and urban design are blended in a ground breaking design solution.
The firm also shared their appointment to do the New Windhoek CBD Urban Design Framework. “This Urban Design framework aims to encourage vibrant spatial economic CBD development with an integrated and multifaceted land use proposal focusing on reviving our streets and public spatial realm. This project has been developed with the City of Windhoek and is in its final stages of approvals and roll-out.” McNamara added.
Kerry McNamara Architects has received no less than 18 architectural awards from the Namibia Institute of Architects (NIA) over the years and is the recipient of the Namibia Institute of Architects – Lifetime Achievement Award of 2010. They were also awarded the Windhoek CBD Urban Design Framework competition win 2014.
In regard to the current industry needs, McNamara Architects said, “We need to move from a fragmented model of suburbia to an integrated urban model, spanning the formal and the informal.
This approach must cut across social and spatial divisions and include all professional disciplines, civic organizations and businesses”.