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Unicity Alterations and Additions, to the Civic Centre
Cape Town, Western Cape


Client:Cape Town Municipality
Type:Municipal Offices

Award of Merit Citation

The designers were proactive in encouraging the city executive to remain within the city. The 'discovery' of the roof of the existing building as a site not only helps to maintain the viability of the inner-city, but also saved on costs of services and infrastructure, all commendable when there are pressures to relocate to the greenfield sites proliferating at the edges of the city. The assembly becomes a symbolic centre of public debate, and the elaborate windvane enters into a dialogue with the dome of the Old City Hall on the mountainward side, creating in contemporary terms an urban marker. If there is criticism it is that the device could have been more multifunctional and through the availability of contemporary computer modelling become an armature for resolving some of the problems of sun-lighting. The transformation of a gloomy and oppressive building into something more user-friendly with spaces re-integrated into the public realm is an added distinction. The project is deserving of a national award of merit.

All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

Writings about this entry

Phaidon. 2004. Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture, The. London: Phaidon. pg 641