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Barclays Bank - First National Bank Headquarters
Central, Cape Town, Western Cape

BAKER and SCOTT: Architect
FORSYTH and PARKER: Supervising Architect

Date:1933
Type:Bank
Style:Neo-Classical : Baker School
Status:Extant
Street:Adderley St

 


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Coordinates:
Alt: 32m

Baker's last work in South Africa.

Granite cushion rusticated base, Ceres sandstone ashlar, massive bronze entrance doors, bronze windows to ground and mezzanine floors, teak framed windows to upper floors. Grand and generous interior.

Cumming-George 1934

THE building was originally designed to run from Adderley Street to St. George's Street with a central aisle, and three additional storeys were planned — the top one to be in a mansard roof.

The building as it stands to-day is the first portion of the very large block, but, for the time being, the old Banking Hall has been connected up with the new one, and a new entrance has been made in St. George's Street. The new building, which is constructed on a steel framework, is faced with white mountain stone quarried at Ceres. Very large stones were required for the shafts and caps of the columns, and all stone was worked at Paarl.

The excavations for the basement disclosed solid rock with only a minimum inflow of sub-soil water. All difficulties in dealing with the water were satisfactorily overcome, and the basement is quite dry an advantage which many buildings in Adderley Street do not possess.

The internal walls and piers of the great dome in the banking hall are lined with Italian Travertine, and the floor in the public space is carried out in Italian and German Travertine with Belgian marble inlay.

Acoustic plaster has been used for the ceiling in the banking hall, including the dome.

The main entrance is very imposing ; the doors are of bronze, as also the grillage above the springing of the arch, and the inner swing doors are also of bronze, the upper portions being glazed with clear plate glass.

Bronze has been used extensively for counter grilles, light fittings, screens and doors in the banking hall.

Stinkwood has been used for wall panelling in the principal rooms, and a good deal of loose furniture has been carried out in this South African wood.

These notes were last edited on 2020 10 21


Writings about this entry

Cumming-George, L. 1934. Architecture in South Africa - Volume Two. Cape Town: The Speciality Press of S.A. Ltd.. pg 74-75
Greig, Doreen. 1971. A Guide to Architecture in South Africa. Cape Town: Howard Timmins. pg 100
Rennie, John for CPIA. 1978. The Buildings of Central Cape Town 1978. Volume Two : Catalogue. Cape Town: Cape Provincial Institute of Architects. pg 199 item 65.2