Namibia’s Skeleton Coast is… one of Africa’s most remote places. Eight futuristic tents have poured-concrete floors, crisp white linens on the beds, and the exquisite food puts Hoanib in the top echelon of the country’s safari experiences.
Condé Nast, Best New Remote Hotel 2015
This place is all about the location, in the wildest, driest of deserts where elephant and oryx roam over red sand dunes. But it’s also about design – polished concrete and glass and the cleverest, most visually stunning tents you’ve ever seen. It is, quite simply, out of this world.
Tatler, Travel Award 2015
The Hoanib valley tensile structure camp in the Kaokoveld region of the Namibian coast is accessible by aircraft, or a grueling four-hour drive from the nearest village–presenting a unique set of challenges for the hospitality team at Wilderness Safaris and THS’s tensile engineering teams alike. This unforgiving stretch of terrain along the Skeleton Coast is home to searing 120°F (50°C) daytime temperatures and chilly drops to 45°F (8°C) in the evening. Sandstorms are common and, with flash-floods a constant threat in the rainy season, construction teams require specialized preparation while needing their wits about them in order to erect remote tensile resort accommodations in a place as wild, and remote as Hoanib. All of this to say, the shifting sands of this unforgiving, remote wilderness are also one of the starkest and uniquely beautiful places on earth, and a perfect location for the eight tensile accommodations of Hoanib’s tensile structure camp.
A TENSILE STRUCTURE CAMP IN THE TOUGHEST AFRICAN TERRAIN
With seven double units and one family unit, the Hoanib tensile structure camp required a specialized tensile design solution–one that drew on the natural elements for inspiration. Each accommodation unit utilizes a hybrid-pod structure to provide a flexible, protective membrane to shelter guests from the harshest of African elements. High-performance custom-engineered frames and materials ensure that maintenance costs are limited and accommodation structures can withstand the fierce desert elements.
Light-weight materials play a major role in overcoming the tricky logistical difficulties presented by this uniquely remote site. They also afforded the Tenthouse team a rapid, and cost-effective construction schedule. Survival on the Skeleton Coast requires collaboration and an eye for sustainable engineering and Tenthouse’s typical conservation-first approach. Working with local teams and communities means an opportunity to transfer learning and skills between the Tenthouse construction crews and the indigenous stewards of the Koakoveld region.