A wink along with the necessary composure
The architect behind the hotel design, Sven-Erik StabyThe Delight Swakopmund - the name of the Gondwana Collection Namibia's new hotel comes with a promise. It implies that guests can expect a carefree, cheerful sojourn of sheer delight in the relaxed atmosphere of a hotel which embodies the warmth of Gondwana as well as the uniqueness of Swakopmund. Architect Sven-Erik Staby endeavoured to capture all of this when he designed the hotel.
"I wanted to reflect today's day and age, the world we live in. The hotel is coherent, yet made up of various parts. It has ten different types of rooms. There is the double-storey structure towards the road facing the casino and there are triple-storey structures towards the corner where we're trying to reflect the urban setting. We have loft spaces with wonderful views. The roof consists of different sections to create a profile that is interesting to the sky. This hotel is not a monolithic block, it's broken up into pieces. Similar to the hand in the Gondwana logo representing the old Gondwana continent."
The much travelled architect, who spent many years working abroad, attaches great importance to eco-friendliness and the "correct" orientation of the rooms. They are sunny, naturally ventilated and have high ceilings. He aimed to create spaces throughout the entire complex which are flexible and purposeful in their use - and reflect the environment.
"The hotel is situated in the heritage area, in the conservation area of Swakopmund, which means that you couldn't just put a glass box there. It had to become more of an infill type of architecture, complementing the existing urban landscape. And the Heritage Council of Namibia as well as the Municipality of Swakopmund commended on the design and were very comfortable with it and approved it without any major changes.
"A success for the company which the born Namibian started in 2011. It is the first building he designed for Swakopmund, even though he knows the charming coastal town since he was a child.
"Swakopmund is THE tourist destination in Namibia - at least on the coast, that is. It offers a variety of sporting interests, you've got the desert in the background and the solitude. Despite the urban hustle and bustle, just 20 km outside Swakop you can feel as if you were enveloped in vastness and nothingness. This, I think, is the appeal. It's quite unique."
Sven Erik Staby incorporated all these impressions when he designed The Delight Swakopmund. Now it is up to the construction company OJ Construction, the interior designers Fox & Browne and Gondwana, of course, to implement his vision of the hotel.
"I think the best aspect was the teamwork. The personal relationships were there, a lot of laughter at the meetings, which is good. It was fun. And I hope the guests will have the same experience. The hotel is quirky, it's modern, very comfortable. And Gondwana is a brand which is unique in expressing local flavour but still keeps it all tied together. You know that it's Namibian."
The Delight Swakopmund: further impressions by building contractors OJ Construction and interior decorators Fox & Browne.