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Las Vegas
Durban, KwaZulu-Natal

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CROFTON and BENJAMIN: Architect

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Date:pre 1958
Type:Hotel
Style:Little Brazil
Status:Extant


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29°50'26.51" S 31°02'06.40" E Alt: 9m
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'Restless but exciting' (Greig, 1971: 112)

South African Architectural Record, June 1958. pp 18:

The Architects were required to design a block of thirty luxury flats, all rooms to have sea views. Since the number of flats required was small relative to the size of the building, it was decided to have only three flats on each floor and to start the first typical floor approximately 20 ft. (6 m) above pavement level to give privacy from passersby. The building is set back from the building line in order to provide for landscaping etc, and also to give further privacy to the flats.

The site is not overcrowded which has allowed the planning on the ground floor of a really large entrance hall, covered garage, superintendent's flat, boardroom and garden.

The first floor was originally intended to be used as recreation space, children's playing space etc, and to include lockers for beach umbrellas and showers etc, but economy prevailed and this space was given over to an extra flat.

There are ten typical floors of three flats each providing twenty large three roomed flats and ten four roomed flats with two bathrooms each. The entire roof is planned as one Penthouse flat.

This is an attempt to break away from the vernacular, which the architects believe emanates from stereotyped planning principals and methods of construction, which departure has been made possible by the use of hollow tile, beam free slabs and wide column spacing. This planning freedom has been reflected in the elevations. In contrast to the simplicity of the elevated typical floor block, the ground floor and roof have been articulated with abstract shapes which contrast has been carried through in the colour scheme by the use of blacks, greys, dark blues, etc, limited to the base and roof.


Writings about this entry

Anonymous. 1958. Las Vagas, Snel Parade, Durban. South African Architectural Record. June. pp Front Cover, 18-21
Greig, Doreen. 1971. A Guide to Architecture in South Africa. Cape Town: Howard Timmins. pg 112

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