Recently our YOUNG URBANISTS community visited Cape Town’s new tallest skyscraper and enjoyed a guided tour and conversation with the lead architect Derick Henstra of DHK architects, and the Provincial Head of FNB, Stephan Claassen.
Check out these photos of Cape Town’s newest skyscraper completed in March 2014: Portside. With 32 floors standing 139 meters tall, it is the city’s largest tower. The objective of joint constructors DHK and Louis Karol Architects was to create an environmentally friendly building for two of South Africa’s largest corporations- Old Mutual and First Rand – in the emerging financial district of Cape Town’s CBD. By constructing such a prominent building in one of the most central places in the city, the hope is to spark interest in other green technologies and buildings for Cape Town in the near future.
It sits against the spectacular backdrop of Table Mountain and the city, its glass façade animated by the changing light and surrounding cityscape. The building achieved a 5 Star Green Star SA (Design) rating, making Portside the greenest tall building in South Africa. It is lit with LEDs, has ample bicycle racks and change rooms, as well as electric car chargers and hybrid car parking bays – just some of the sustainable features used.
A vibrant mix of cafes and restaurants have occupied the ground floor along with a new FNB branch, revitalising the street life in this rapidly evolving part of the city.
The Portside building has been acclaimed as South Africa’s first Green Star-rated tall building, and boasts a very modern design. Yet many in the city are asking how the building contributes to the overall character of Cape Town. Considering Cape Town is the World Design Capital of 2014, the city is on spotlight, and therefore its newly constructed and largest skyscraper to date will certainly be given much international attention as well.
Check out some photos of the Portside building below and share your thoughts below.