Windhoek: Our Heritage, by Christine Marais
The following texts from the illustrated book "Windhoek: Our Heritage", describe the Gathemann House, the August Stauch House, and the Christuskirche in Namibias capital, Windhoek. These and other architectural gems from the German epoch have been illustrated by Christine Marais and made this editon and the series very popular.
This building was erected in 1913 as a residence and business centre for Mr Heinrich Gathemann, mayor of Klein Windhoek. The ground floor had a gate entrance and, like today, shops with big show windows. Colourful awnings protected the windows from the sun and were more pleasing than the present pavement roof. The upper residential area has a pleasing architectural effect created by pillared balconies which enhance the size and symmetry of the building. Whether the architect succeeded in "the exceptional multiple roof landscape" (W. Peters) remains an open question. In any case, this building together with its two neighbours both designed by Wilhelm Sander, makes an exceptional front elevation, and it is a pity that the style could not have been extended to the south.
August Stauch House
This house was built in 1908 for an Administration official who preferred to live in his own house. Otto Busch, who also designed several other villas, was responsible for the plans of this tasteful country home which blends naturally into the surroundings. From the heights of Schanzen ridge there are lovely views in all directions. August Stauch, the discoverer of diamonds near Lüderitzbucht, bought the house mainly because of its magnificent site. Later additions with a well matched pyramid roof were designed by the architect Max Gartze.
In early times the Lutheran congregation had to be satisfied with a prayer hall. The building of their own church was delayed due to the native uprisings and because no agreement could be reached on a site. The Government builder, G. Redecker, was asked to submit plans and in 1907 the cornerstone was laid. Sandstone for the foundations and walls was quarried locally and transported by means of a specially laid railtrack. The rustic walls, pillared entrance and decorative pediment make the building typical of the neo-romanesque period. The ornamental side gables and the arched windows are typically "Jugendstil". These features, together with the pointed Gothic steeple, typify the concept of a church. Redecker has succeeded in "the metamorphosis of different styles in a picturesque exterior" (W. Peters). The cost of 360 000 Mark exceeded the budget but the congregation received generous help. The organ, the church bells and the stained glass windows came from Germany. On the 16 October 1910 the church was consecrated before a large crowd as a monument to peace. Pastor Olpp of the Rhenish Mission led the service. [...]
Windhoek: Our Heritage, by Christine Marais.
Title: Windhoek. Our Heritage
Author: Christine Marais
Genre: Architectural history
Publisher: Gamsberg Macmillan
2nd edition. Swakopmund, Namibia (1986/1999)
ISBN 0868482609 / ISBN 0-86848-260-9
Hardcover, 24 x 33 cm, 80 pages, throughout colour impressions, 1 city map, text in English, German, Afrikaans
Marais, Christine im Namibiana-Buchangebot
In the early 1980's Namibian artist Christine Marais created her much loved impressions of the architectural heritage of Windhoek.
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