CHINOTIMBA APARTMENTS

This three-storey apartment building in Victoria Falls, blends flawlessly with the surrounding single-storey homes in both its architectural design and in its use of materials. Designed for medium-income-earning residents, this pedestrian-friendly block consists of 64 two-bedroom, two-bathroom units.

Despite using architectural designs and materials common in Zimbabwe, Urban Habitat has conceptualised a contemporary building through the use of concrete breeze blocks and black, rather than regular brick work. Given the residential profile, it was imperative that building costs remain low. Despite this constraint, architectural interest is still introduced through the addition of three different types of exterior window designs, as well as techtonic steel fins, that are then repeated at intervals in order to break the traditional apartment block mold. The strong, horizontal, paler concrete divisions between apartment levels, give the illusion that the building has a lower vertical profile than the plans truly reveal. This deceptively simple design belies the attention to detail and considered use of appropriate materials that are Urban Habitat’s hallmarks.

 

The lowest levels of the building house a parking garage designed for ease of entry and exit for 68 vehicles. The units themselves, despite being only 60m2, have ample storage space, an en-suite bathroom to the main bedroom and a balcony which flows seamlessly from the open-plan living area. A dining countertop neatly separates the kitchen from the lounge. The thoughtful design and placement of key features maximises the available interior space, while the exterior design adds substance to surrounding neighbourhood.

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