Client : Department of Public Works and Transport Western Cape
Type : Public Building
Site : Dorp Street Cape Town
Size : 715square meters (foot print)
Partners : Jacobs Parker
The brief required the relocation and amalgamation of separate, direct public interface components such as the Traffic Law and the Supply Chain Management departments in the existing building to provide easier, clear access for the public, thereby rationalising the public/private spatial organization. In attempting to address the brief in the context of the existing, mostly concrete structure and various building regulations, the design process revealed the possibility of providing a separate entrance off Loop Street. In addition, this also provided the opportunity to engage the existing building’s facade and interface on an urban level. As this new programme and proposed intervention required an entrance off Loop Street, it meant the existing infill panels of concrete blocks, anti-vagrant pre-cast panels and high level shop fronts had to be removed. These were replaced with a set of full height, glazed, bi parting entrance doors on Loop Street and with shop fronts on Dorp street. The idea was to enhance transparency, visibility of the new internal programme and to activate the existing Loop Street facade. The articulation of the new in-fill facade components was informed by acknowledging entry points and providing sun control. The proportions were directly influenced by the formal architectural language of the existing building and interpreted in the finer grain of the new building, such as aluminium shop fronts and aluminium cladded components. Once inside the new portion of the existing building, the spatial programme is set up around a public foyer space served by the counters of Traffic Law, Supply Chain Management, Cash Office and Bid Opening room. The external formal language is extended into the internal architectural components The existing compliment of materials is continued into the new intervention and the new palette is informed by the monochromatic arrangement of the existing building.