7 city block development for Cape Town Foreshore

The City of Cape Town is set to give the green light for the rezoning of 7 city blocks or 5.3 hectares of space, currently the Motor City site on Christiaan Barnard Street. The full project, comprising 7 buildings, is expected to be developed in phases over the next 10-15 years, acting as an extension of the City grid.

Presentation on Culemborg Quarter (June 2011)


The property measures 5.3 hectares in extent and is strategically located at two of the major vehicle entrances into the City, therefore lending itself to development of architectural significance.

The subject property is currently improved with large warehouse-type structures that house car showroom and services, shops and other large-scale business. Vehicular access is mainly provided of Christiaan Barnard Street, with the entrance being located closer to the Table Bay Boulevard intersection and the exit being provided closer to the Hertzog Boulevard intersection.

A minor road is currently located along the eastern boundary of the site (underneath Nelson Mandela Boulevard), which serves as access to portions of the larger Culemborg site and links back to Old Marine Drive.



It is proposed to redevelop the subject property into seven (7) city blocks or land units for mixed-use development, for which implementation will be controlled over an approximately 10 year or longer period through a Package of Plans concept.

The development of the subject property will be phased, with phasing will be linked to infrastructure upgrading, specifically relating to transport. Various servitudes will be registered over the subject property, including right of way/access servitudes for the proposed roads and an open space servitude for the central pedestrian spine, which runs in an east-west direction on the subject property.

Various building forms, setbacks and building envelopes have been proposed, which is the outcome of the detailed urban design assessment/ investigation as contained within the Development / Urban Design Framework.

The current public realm is harsh and hostile to pedestrians due to the large city blocks, wide streets, a lack of defined public facilities and a reliance on vehicular traffic in the area. This will be mitigated, through the creation of a central pedestrian spine, the introduction of active street edges (e.g. the introduction of retail activities on ground floor), provision of colonnades, canopies, etc, providing articulated and egible entrances, appropriate landscaping and the consideration of environmental (Le. wind, sun, etc) factors.

The public realm will create a large pedestrian area within the development, which effectively links to the existing open space network in the city. Various public squares are proposed as part of the development, with the street interface of the proposed buildings adjacent to these squares and pedestrian spine being strictly controlled with regards to the provision of canopies and colonnades, pedestrian entrances into buildings, limiting height to allow for sunlight penetration and the provision of retail activities.

Forms and Heights

The proposed building forms and heights  are an outcome of the detailed urban design assessment completed. The proposed buildings located on blocks Band C are limited to 30m in height to create a visually balanced streetscape along Christiaan Barnard Street (i.e. will be of a similar height to existing buildings along this street), with a 19.5m high plinth being created along the internal roads and pedestrian spine to ensure a human scale along these edges. The lower heights of these buildings also allow sufficient light penetration into the central pedestrian spine to ensure an appropriate pedestrian environment and public realm.

The building on block D is proposed to be somewhat higher (37m) than the other buildings along Christiaan Barnard Street due to its location at the intersection of Christiaan Barnard Street and Hertzog Boulevard. This will allow the building to clearly define this edge, without overpowering the street.

The proposed buildings on blocks E and F are designed to “sit on a plinth” of parking underneath Nelson Mandela Boulevard and consist of linked buildings that take into account prevailing wind conditions in the area. These buildings are setback and sloped away from Nelson Mandela Boulevard, with the proposed heights (i.e. 44m to 54m) responding to similar heights of other buildings existing or planned along Nelson Mandela Boulevard within the City Centre.

The proposed taller buildings located on blocks A (60m) and G (54 and 72m) will maximise views from within as well as having a limited impact in terms of external view lines. The proposed towers will be setback at least 10 from Nelson Mandela Boulevard and will slope away from the road. The proposed taller buildings act as gateway structures as one enters the city from Table Bay Boulevard and clearly defines the precinct. It should also be considered that given recent developments within the city of taller buildings and the fact that the subject property will, in future, form part of a larger Culemborg development, the size and location of the proposed two taller buildings are not seen as excessive.


  • Site area 53,490 sqm
  • Proposed bulk factor of 3.7
  • Total bulk allowance of approximately 198,000 sqm
  • Minimum 17,740 sqm retail
  • Minimum 270 residential units
  • Minimum 120 key hotel
  • Conferencing facilities
  • Offices
  • 3500 car parking spaces
  • 3 key public open spaces plus a fully pedestrianised street