Old Cape Quarter

dhk Architects

This mixed use development executes all the basic urban design strategies relevant to this precinct extremely well. It retains the old buildings and facades that hold the street edge and that maintain a scale and style that relates and contributes positively to the precinct. It sets the higher new apartment building well back so that it seems unrelated to the foreground street buildings. The new building is clearly contemporary, but borrows appropriate clues to its appearance from the older buildings. It is fragmented into smaller forms so that the building reads as a group of buildings instead of a monolith. The slight mis-alignment of certain windows breaks the possible monotony of the resultant elevations. The height above the old buildings is restricted generally to three storeys and, where there is a fourth, this is further set back and clad with a sheet metal roofing material that makes the additional storey read more as a mansard roof than as an extra floor.

The use of colour is equally well manipulated to both demarcate use types and to reflect the old and new. The different warm, bold colours of the base buildings relate to the fashion of those in the adjacent streets. In contrast to this exuberance, the upper building, with its well-appointed apartments, is quietly reserved in white and relies on its fragmentation and black shutters and balustrades for articulation.

The public internal courtyard is a gift to Cape Town. Its scale is comfortable and the reduction of height to single storey towards the adjoining property speaks to good neighbourliness. The larch screens add a softness to the space, and no doubt contribute to its good acoustic properties.

This is an exemplary mixed-use development that makes an important contribution to the precinct and to Cape Town.

Client:RDC (Tower Property Fund)

Developer:RDC (Tower Property Fund)

Architects:dhk Architects

Project Manager:Igual PM

Structural Engineers:Sutherland Engineers

Mechanical Engineers:Sutherland Engineers

Electrical Engineers:Sutherland Engineers

Landscaping:Square One

Quantity Surveyor:Smith & Co

Main Contractor:GVK

Fire Consultant:Sutherland Engineers

Sustainability Consultant:Sow & Reap & Imbue

Land Surveyor:dh+a

Lighting Consultant:Martin Dollar

Acoustic Consultant:Machoy