Off the Beaten Track

The lecture will be held online with live streaming (a professional live broadcast). Buy your ticket in advance! Those who already bought a ticket for the lecture at STUK will receive a link for the webcast.

Nina Maritz architects operates from Windhoek, Namibia and is one of the leading architects of the African continent. Namibia is a country with socio-economic challenges, but also of great richness in its natural environment and landscape. This combination urges careful deployment of funding to achieve as much as possible out of limited means without wasting resources. Nina Maritz addresses this challenge by working with materials in nnovative ways, exploiting their natural textures and colors. The places she designs – be they schools, courthouses or libraries – are given meaning and impact for indigenous communities, as their local materials and their own local craftsmanship are key to the design and realization. This contextual approach results in climate-adaptive buildings with a small ecologic footprint. Moreover, it is geared at capacity building and emancipation of local communities. The resulting architecture is native, earthly and at the same time narrative and full of meaning. The capitalization of this local knowledge and skills truly place the architecture of Maritz outside of the trodden paths of global, digitalized culture.

From another point of view, the natural richness of Namibia makes it a destination for ecotourism, where travelers come to experience what remains of the beauty of the wilderness. Maritz has directed her design research at reduction of the (ecologic) footprint of tourism in the great natural conservancies, heritage sites and national parks. The Shipwreck Lodges in Skeleton Coast National Park (2018) have almost zero environmental impact. Twyfelfontein Visitors’ Centre (2006) is an architectural translation of the local landscape and of (lost) immaterial heritage of making prehistoric rock art, safeguarding and extending its authenticity into the present.

Nina Maritz is a graduate of the University of Cape Town (South Africa) and settled in Namibia in 1992. She started her own practice in the Namibian capital Windhoek in 1998 to focus on contextual response, sustainability and community development. She’s lectured at institutes like the University of Oregon, Namibia University of Science and Technology, and Namibia Polytechnic.

lecture series architecture, urbanism and design

With the theme OUTSIDE this lecture series focuses on the relationship between humans and their ecosystem - the ecosystem that defines the outside world of each piece of architecture. How can architecture reinforce this fragile and close interaction? How are architectural tools such as craftsmanship, materiality and typology applied to give meaning to outdoor spaces and to introduce spatial relationships between inside and outside? And in which way can the healing qualities of nature be brought into urban life?

For live webcast PRESALE ONLY (until the lecture day, 17:00)



CURATORS Stefaan Evers & Marijn Van de Weijer | PARTNERS STUK, KU Leuven dep. architecture, KU Leuven Culture, Existenz | SUPPORT City of Leuven, the Government of Flanders | SPONSORING Febelcem, ASSA ABLOY Entrance Systems, Vandersanden Group, Media A+ Architecture in Belgium
Wed 10 Feb 2021 20:00


STUK Auditorium


€9 standard
STUK card
Culture card
free members S&A