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Crystal Towers, Cape town, South Africa

Wednesday 18 Aug 2010

South Africa's own crystal palace

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VIVID ARCHITECTS provides a fresh new mixed-use precinct for Cape Town 

The site occupies a strategic position within context of Century City, Cape Town, and this development has been designed to play an important role in the local community – a fresh new landmark building that would integrate, influence and generate future planning.

The development is made up of three buildings comprising a 180 key 5 star hotel, 90 luxury residences, and A-grade commercial office space. The built form has been spread to create the impression of a collection of buildings –with a common idea but distinctive identities.

The formal concept for the hotel and apartments is of two towers sharing an integrated, dynamic and permeable base of public activity, with a cantilevered suspended pool box in between. The focus of this base is an internal pedestrian street, conceived to encourage a social hub of activity.

The idea of the two towers allows the function to be clearly expressed. The hotel tower is a curtain wall façade, to reflect a slick contemporary experience while maximising the elevated views of Table Mountain and Table Bay. The residences have a more sculpted facade that steps in to form weather protected balconies. These two facade treatments are controlled and contained within two equally sized projecting aluminium frames that give the building an overall symmetry. The freestanding office building reinforces this idea of contained, clean façade design.

Century City as a place has developed from an artificial style, unrelated to time or context, and presented various design challenges and complexities. Crystal Towers endeavours to re-invent and challenge the established precedent within this newly constructed environment.

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