Citadel’s new head office in Cape Town combines modern design and traditional materials, all while being environmentally conscious.

The Castle is no longer Cape Town’s only fortress. Located in Claremont, The Citadel, a 30m high, six-storey, 12 000m² building – the hew head office of wealth management business, Citadel – was completed in October 2016. The Citadel’s two street facades are clad entirely in pale Namibian granite, which gives the building its ultramodern form and stature.

“For millennia, great societies have erected stone citadels – from Jerusalem to Beijing and from Rome to Babylon,” says Robert Silke, architect and principal at Robert Silke & Partners. “And when citadels are commissioned, they are, more often than not, erected from solid stone.

“For this citadel, we have chosen the most durable stone: Granite. Based on the ‘style-modern’ architecture of mid-20th century cities such as New York – and being the first stone panel building in Claremont – it is intended to be distinct,” he adds.

Keeping costs low
Developed by Citadel Investment Services in a joint venture with national property development and asset management group, Atterbury, and landowners, Catalyst, the building was constructed on a very tight budget and with controlled expenses.

All 12 000m² of The Citadel were constructed for a modest R130m, equating to a construction cost of just over R10 000/m² – at a time when developers are struggling to build for between R15 000 and R20 000/m².

Four stars for green
To contribute towards climate and city resilience, green building elements such as energy reduction and efficiency, as well as the use of natural materials, were included in the building design while sustainable practices were used during the construction phase. For example, demolition and construction waste was diverted from landfill and where possible, recycled steel has been used.

The Citadel further targets the efficient use of water and limits the impact of the building’s emissions, such as light pollution and ozone depletion. Ongoing assessment from the design, through the construction phase until completion, has seen The Citadel being awarded a four-star Green Star rating.

Interior design
From an interior environmental quality perspective, comfort factors such as external views and glare control are taken into account.

Picking up from the stone facade, marbles and warm metals on the public ground floor give way to an oak-treaded helical staircase up to a softer, warmer environment upstairs.

With predominantly wooden flooring, the first floor offers panoramic views of Table Mountain over the tree canopies. The area is intended to evoke a tree-house or club-house feeling, with a sense of belonging. A break-out area downstairs leads to a private entertainment courtyard and a 140-seat raked auditorium.

The interiors are, like the facade, distinctively modern in form but traditional in material and substance. Leathers, marbles and coppers are used, whilst seating is svelte and sophisticated.

Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to Citadel Investment Services for the information given to write this article.

Caption: Citadel’s new head office in Cape Town combines modern design and traditional materials, all while being environmentally conscious.