Architect: Nico & Werner van der Meulen
Designed by Nico and Werner van der Meulen, the contemporary structure of the DHR Apartments is a modular apartment block situated in Kinshasa within the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Comprising twenty-eight units of varying sizes and layouts over eight stories, the building is set to be a landmark in the area.
The client brief was for a signature building differing from the commonly found apartments in the DRC. This led to the appearance of the apartment blocks being very form-based, differing between rectangles and squares to bring a new dynamic and asymmetrical appearance. The design also lent varying depths to the exterior. The rest of the exterior was kept to a neutral palette, accentuating the current contemporary trend of minimalism.
The contemporary aspect of this apartment block was showcased in the use of materials, focusing mostly on a mix of steel, glass, and concrete, thereby providing contrasting elements on the façade of the building.
A large common-use outdoor area was created on the 5th floor for barbeques, parties, etc. overlooking the river. Lastly and importantly, the use of plant life to enhance the balconies of the apartments adds to the balance of textures. The balconies, though small, extend outward from each apartment, providing a private deck for its occupants to entertain on, and view the surrounding areas and Congo River.
DHR Apartments is proof of the company’s ability to take a normal brief, conceptualize and pursue a current design that will hold its own for many years to come.