On the sands of Namibia’s otherworldly, desolate Skeleton Coast is a fleet of sleek, abstract boats, that welcome guests to a luxury beyond their imagining. A magical place and spaces designed to entice you to set sail on an ocean of sand. Welcome to Shipwreck Lodge.
The flotilla of lodges sit majestically on the sands, overlooking a golden ocean. The lodge is located in the famous Skeleton Coast concession between the Hoarusib and Hoanib rivers in the Skeleton Coast National Park, and only 45 km from Möwe Bay. The shipwreck-shaped cabins are nestled between the dunes with a view of the Atlantic Ocean where the cold Benguela current provides guests with a refreshing breeze.
Designed by Namibia’s Nina Maritz Architects, the challenge was to create a 20-bed luxury lodge in an extremely harsh and desolate yet beautiful Skeleton Coast National Park in Namibia. The brief also included the stipulation that the project have an almost zero environmental impact and a high level of guest comfort. Potential full removal of the infrastructure at the end of the 25 year concession period had to be kept in mind.
Despite the references to wooden boats, the forms are abstracted, with only a few broken spars adding a light-hearted touch to signal the shipwreck theme. Weathered timber exteriors blend in with driftwood and silver-grey sand.
Rugged construction shelters day-lit interiors designed to provide a sense of comfort and security during extreme wind and storms for which the coast is notorious.
Apart from the guest cabins and main lounge and dining areas, provision had to be made for full on-site staff accommodation and back-of-house services like kitchen, storage, workshop, laundry, water supply, PV power supply and sewer treatment.
The result is sense of isolation wrapped up in luxury and warmth. There is generous use of natural materials and wood, with the addition of plush textiles and accents of brass. Each lodge feel like home away from home with a touch of extravagant desolation.
The dining galley is awash with warmth, light and views for days that make each meal an absolute pleasure.
All materials are recyclable and kind to the environment from the cork board floors and expansive wooden rooflines that echo the ships of days long gone.
The decks too echo the marine design style with curved bows and flowing mast like arches.
In 2019, the property won the Ahead MEA Lodges, Cabins & Tented Camps Award. Shipwreck Lodge certainly deserves the attention it demands as it stands vanguard over the desert and sands of Skeleton Coast.
Visit the property here: http://shipwrecklodge.com.na
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