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Ernst & Young Head Offiices: Windhoek, Namibia


As a building that represents an innovative,unconventional, and rather exceptional company, the new Namibian head office for Ernst & Young Chartered Accountants has been conceived to give expression to these qualities in a manner that challenges traditional relationships between culture, environment, structure and space, while accommodating the organisation?s progressive working methods.Every effort was made to avoid a stereotypical office solution and to resolve the brief in such a way as to announce the EY identity within the Windhoek urban environment with aplomb and eloquence. Hemmed in by streets on three sides and sloping down to a small watercourse, the site for the new head office is located in a decentralised commercial node in the suburb of Klein Windhoek and surrounded by hills and low-density residential development. Views onto the site from these surroundings dictated a sensitiveapproach to form giving, scale, site planning, and the use of materials. Transparency and legibility were key design considerations from the outset: a strong circulation axis leads the visitor along a shaded entrance walkway to a reception area where glimpses of the building interior are introduced. This walkwayalso serves as a visual barrier separating the lower-lying staff parking area from the generous open space embracing the public face of the building. Once inside the building, the visitor is exposed to its entire workings. A clear hierarchy of space from public to private is maintained without introducing physical barriers: the prominent circulation axis terminates in a system of ramps intersecting the double-volume ungulum that forms the heart of the complex.Architect:Jaco Wassefall Courtesy of Jaco Wassefall Architects. client: Ernst & Young.project teamcivil/structural: Buhrmann & Partners.mechanical/electrial: GS Fainsinger.Quantity Surveyor: Blokker, Kuschke & Jacobs.contractor: Namibia Construction.  

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