East City Office Block
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Program: Retail and Offices
Client: Creative Cape Town
Can small neighborhood improvements spark urban regeneration?
Cape Town’s East City Precinct is a light industrial area close to the city’s business centre and nearby tertiary design institutions. Despite its designation as a design district, the area is home to many rundown buildings. Building upgrades are usually internal renovations or simple facelifts, leaving featureless street edges and few active shop fronts at street level.
Our proposal is to upgrade an existing office block within the design precinct, and to use the new upgrade as a catalyst for urban regeneration in the area. As the first of its kind in this area, this project has the potential to foster a creative identity in the area, and reactivate the street edge.
The design enlivens the building’s existing façade by adding protruding steel glass boxes to create a three-dimensional building line that increases its visibility from the street. The ground floor is opened up as a retail space with large shop-front windows to activate the street edge and increase pedestrian interaction.