Redesign Proposal for Serra Cafema Lodge
Updated: Aug 30, 2019
Project: Serra Cafema Lodge
Location: Extremely remote part of Northern Namibia, Kaokoland District
Collaboration: DLH Namibia
Project timeline: Oct - Dec 2016
Serra Cafema is a luxury wilderness lodge and safari retreat located on the Namibian side of the Kunene River, opposite Angola.
It is a stunning lodge with beautiful spaces which ingeniously integrate with the natural setting. The buildings weave through the reeds along the riverbank, providing intimate spaces throughout.
The region has an extreme desert climate and it is exceptionally difficult to reach this location. In fact, this lodge is featured as one of the most remote lodge facilities in the southern hemisphere of the African continent.
Every few years the Kunene River level rises dramatically due to rains in the Angolan highlands. When this occurs, Serra Cafema camp is brought to a halt as the river rises, flooding all areas of the facility.
After flooding twice within 10 years, solutions needed to be explored. This brought about a competition which welcomed design proposals for what the lodge could do to resolve the problem.
Jaco Studio collaborated with DLH on this project and was part of the final 3 candidates with this design proposal.
We were flown to the site to do a final investigation and site analysis, before preparation of the design proposal.
The proposal included the relocation of the lodge above the 100year flood line.
This would be the most expensive option but would provide a permanent solution to the recurring problem.
The main building
Key design features:
Fluid layout and spatial integration between private and public spaces
Extensive views in all directions from the relaxation areas
Secluded back of house functions
Contrasting play between solid and shade elements
Large shaded areas, with double layer canvas skins to accommodate air flow
Water bodies tucked near the internal spaces to cool surrounding air
Architectural Design of The Rooms
Key design features
Absolute privacy for the visitor
Uninterrupted views towards the river and the Angolan mountains
Luxurious places to relax
Provision of all basic services and requirements for 5star accommodation
Low energy systems and technologies
Waterbody close to the interior spaces
Elements of fire at opposite sides of each unit
Using natural stone, sand and clay as thermal massing elements to regulate internal temperatures
Insect control through custom made curtains and netting
High end furniture and interior details
Jaco Studio – Unique Architectural Designs
Alas, our team was not appointed to do the renovation. In the end our proposal was too expensive.
However, it did give us the opportunity to travel to the most remote parts of Namibia, meet innovative developers, collaborate with specialist suppliers, compete against very talented firms, and confirm our position among the highest level of specialist designers in Southern Africa.