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Hinrichs Residence




Arusha, Tanzania



Project Size

706 sqm

Project Cost

USD 520,000

Sune Mushendwa


Frank & Neema Hinrichs



Construction in progress

The client approached us for a contemporary design of their residence to be built in Ngaramtoni, Arusha.

The instructions were simple, "I want a contemporary house with a courtyard and a 5 car garage".

The contemporary design elements we implemented were: unconventional volumes, free-form shapes, open floor plan, and large, abundant windows.


The plan is designed around the courtyard with the bedrooms facing the garage and the living areas at the center.

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The plan uses 3 connected rectangles - each representing a different function with a 4th detached rectangle being the pool house. The main axis is oriented in a North-South direction to avoid direct sunlight through the large windows in the morning and afternoon.

All spaces open up into the courtyard while the common area opens up in two directions connecting the courtyard and the pool area.

A single slope roof is placed over the common area to create a covered roof lounge with a view of the nearby Mount Meru.

The courtyard is protected by a 2.7m high wall creating a very personal and tranquille area for the family.

A covered rooftop viewing deck is accessed from the living room overlooking the courtyard on one side and the pool on the other.

The whole building is set out on a grid which matches the maximum sized glass panels available in Tanzania. A full glass facade opens up towards the swimming pool and towards the courtyard. The master bedroom floats above a pond located in the courtyard to create more privacy and a beautiful landscaping feature. The swimming pool is located outside of the main building complex and has its own pool house with bathrooms, a pump room and a grill area.

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The master bedroom is placed above a small pond to give it more privacy while acting as a landscaping feature. The master bedroom and part of the bathroom (bathtub) have a direct view of the pond and courtyard.

Fundamentally, contemporary architecture is defined by simplicity, subtle sophistication, deliberate use of texture, and clean lines. Contemporary architecture is not defined by a single style but is unified in its imperative to be unconventional, to break with the past using innovation and imagination rather than replicating older styles. While there is no clear definition of what constitutes contemporary architecture - by focusing space and shape, this building was able to achieve a sleek and clean contemporary look and functionality.

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