The unique site is situated on the eastern gorge of the Zambezi, some kilometres west of the convergence of Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The privately owned development had to be completely isolated and accessible by boat only, limiting any building component to a 3m length. The above constraints served to further enhance the attitude of the client and design team to do a development with minimum environmental impact. Most building elements were constructed off-site in factory conditions, to ensure quality and limit on-site equipment to a minimum. The steel structural frame and flooring elements are mostly raised above the existing habitat to allow for rehabilitation, passive cooling and ventilation mechanisms from underneath the ventilated floor. Local stone cages form part of the facade elements, which will receive water spray on the loosely stacked rocks to facilitate temperature reduction with the natural ventilation passing through them. The buildings are small-scale in comparison with the existing trees on the site and have been placed strategically to keep established trees. The axis created is directed to the natural focal points, being the waterhole and northern hillock containing five majestic baobab trees with your back towards the entrance and over the Zambezi. The facade is almost entirely transparent with a minimalistic intervention to the natural forest.
Architect : arc Pretoria
Location : Zambia