Nonprofit's new Cape Town office preserves historic features
Barak Mizrachi Architects recently designed the new Cape Town offices for the Institute for Security Studies, a nonprofit organization in South Africa, leading in African human security research. The institute engages in the study, research and international debate of human security, focusing on human rights, good governance, personal and community security, justice, food security and sustainable livelihood. The institute also engages on a collaborative basis with state institutions at national, regional and continental levels in Africa.
The ISS needed a new site to accommodate not only their research offices, but also a public component for conference and seminars that are held often. Buchanan Square, a commercial urban regeneration development in the Woodstock section Cape Town, was the natural choice, with significant heritage, appropriate orientation and adequate parking spaces.
The office design layout demonstrates a distinct definition between private and public spaces, with reception and waiting area as a meeting point. The research office primarily facing south benefit from natural light and views of Table Mountain. The public area, which houses the boardroom, conference and seminar room, and breakaway area, experiences morning and afternoon sun. The space has been designed to accommodate a multi-use space that can hold different-size seminars, conferences and meetings at the same time.
The interior architecture approach was to maintain the integrity of all existing heritage features by incorporating contemporary complimentary elements. Heritage features, such as cast iron columns and brickwork have been exposed, ceiling beams have been restored and old archways have been opened and expressed. Integrity and transparency as two of the many core values of the Institute for Security Studies, has been carried through to every room and detail.