Cartwright’s Corner

Cape Town CBD

Cartwright’s Corner sits on a prominent corner site in central Cape Town, bounded by Adderley Street and Darling Street. The concrete framed aggregate and glass building was completed in 1968, rises over 20 floors and has a dominant base plinth on two floors with a central tower block. The design references 1960’s Brutalism in a somewhat restrained and fine-scaled manner. Originally designed as offices located in the tower block with shops and arcades in the plinth, the building has more recently been converted to residential apartments with some modification to the openings to form flush balconies and doorways.

Apart from being a dominant building at an important junction, Cartwright’s Corner is surrounded by an array of fine buildings of various ages. These can all be experienced from the podium deck level and apartments. The surrounding buildings all contribute to making this a fine-grained and richly detailed part of the central city, with active street edges and interfaces.

Square One was appointed to develop a vision for the currently unutilized podium deck and roofscape. An in depth microclimatic analysis of the site was completed and climatic opportunities and constraints were identified to provide wind shelter, and to maximise the provision of shade and sunlight, throughout the year.

Square One’s vision for the site includes the creation of sheltered alcoves providing spaces for rest and respite from the elements. Sunset seating and relaxation bays allow views onto the surrounding buildings and cityscape. Colourful, sculptured playscapes and woven nets for climbing are provided to encourage play and interaction within the space.  Feature elements include a sky mirror, water feature and reflection pond, providing spaces for calm and rejuvenation. A raised lawn area, bamboo forest and soft perimeter planting bring life and energy to the space, providing ecological refuge in the harsh urban environment. A running/ walking track weaves through the space, encouraging users of the indoor gym area to bring their exercise routine to the outdoors.  A multi-purpose deck space can be used as an outdoor cinema, while feature lighting enlivens the night-time ambience. A book lounge and multi-purpose functions kiosk further aims to attract a diverse range of potential users to the space.