Abandoned House

Behind the wallDuring my time in Kampala I have been living with the other UCBC international staff in a house that we found on AirB&B. It is owned by a really friendly German man named Klaus who lives in one part of the house and rents out the rest at a very affordable rate. It has been a great place to live because it was able to accommodate Othy and Archip when they joined us for the last two weeks. We are in the neighbourhood of Port Bell which is a quiet peninsula on Lake Victoria. Port Bell is an interesting area because there are many large houses that were built in the colonial period but since then have been abandoned. There is one particular house that is a few doors down from us that I find particularly beautiful. The house is white and has a very modern style. Walking by it often looks deserted and the gate is always open but at times you can hear kids playing inside and see laundry hanging out to dry. My guess is that squatters have settled into the house. Finally the other day when Othy, Archip and I needed a break from working on our computers, we decided to go for a walk and try to get in and take photographs of the place. I knew that if I didn’t try that I would regret it! When we went in the compound we saw a group of children sitting in the grass. We asked the eldest girl if she would be willing to show us around and she obliged. We didn’t know this from the outside, but the house is actually a group of apartments (or hotel/guesthouse) with a communal area on the main floor. Structurally the house is sound but there is a lot of water damage. The curved wing is still inhabited by families and the other side is empty. There is access to the roof that opens up to an amazing view of the lake!

Front View

The building has two wings: one with a single and the other with a double loaded corridor. The single corridor has nice brick lattice openings off of the hallway. The units in that wing fan out in a curve that opens up towards the lake view. On the other wing a series of bachelor units project out from the form. They are single rooms with with large glass sliding doors opening to covered balconies. I like that the units that face the street are raised to a level to see above the wall of the compound.

Cracked Paint

The center window that lights up the stairwell

Patio Front Patio opening up to a yard in the back

Public Hallway SpaceThe corridor between the units is very spacious and I can imagine it being used as a communal space. It is also lit by another open lattice and transparent corrugated roofing.

RooftopPano

When on this expansive roof I imagined that I was on top of a building designed by Le Corbusier! It definitely has the right look! I’m so glad I got to see this building close up, in all it’s sad beauty. I wish I knew the story of this place! Who lived here? What memories are within these walls? Posing on the Roof

Can I just take this building and do something awesome with it?!?

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