The thriving Bridgeways Precinct in Century City, Cape Town, now has a glistening and distinctive new addition, Sable Corner.

Developed by Rabie Property Group and designed by dhk Architects, Sable Corner is a four-storey building characterised by two merged forms. One is a distinctive curved-glazed facade articulated with vertical aluminium fins, while the other is a contrasting formal solid painted face-brick box structure.

The client’s brief was to design a premium-grade, four-storey commercial building with basement parking and potential ground-floor retail space that complements the surrounding buildings, namely Sable Park, Axis and Bridge Park – also designed by dhk.

Located at a key entranceway into Century City and serving as the face of both Bridgeways Precinct and the Ratanga Precinct, the challenge was not only to design a landmark building, while taking advantage of the desirable corner views, but also to maximise the potential rentable area of the island site’s unique shape. Functionally, the building needed to allow for flexible subdivisions for numerous potential tenants, both within the building as well as on the same floor.

Interpreting the brief

Derick Henstra, dhk Architects’ executive chairman, says: “Responding to the opportunities and restraints of the site, the design required strong roadside frontage to the southwest and a more functional and accessible podium back edge to the northeast. As a result, our team conceived a dual-facing building with two merged forms, with the building’s shape intentionally designed to highlight the site’s unique shape as well as to maximise the floorplates and potential rentable area.”

Facing Sable Road, the building’s distinctive curved-glazed facade wraps around its corner location into Bridgeways Precinct, with the curvilinear curtain wall serving as the central design feature of the building, allowing for outward views across the city and overlooking the mountains.

Complementing and drawing parallels with its neighbour, Sable Park, the glazed facade is articulated with robust vertical aluminium fins which extend past the roofline. Adjacent to this, a more functional, textured and punctured face-brick box structure delineates the remainder of the Sable Road edge, designed to enable the curvilinear element to stand out. Below, the entire ground floor along Sable Road and atop the podium has been fitted out with glazed frontage and has the potential to serve as future retail space.

Green design
Fittingly, Sable Corner has been designed according to the environmentally sustainable principles of the remainder of the green Bridgeways Precinct. The external envelope has been designed to maximise occupants’ comfort while taking advantage of electrical energy savings by maximising the duration of daylight and keeping lights off.

Fuel-efficient parking bays have been provided, should tenants decide to incorporate their own green transport strategies, which are further enhanced by access to public transport and easily accessible local amenities. LED lighting has been installed throughout, saving energy and maintenance costs, while external lighting has been designed to avoid light pollution.

These aspects are integral for the targeted four-star Design and As-Built Green-Star Office SA v1.1 certification via the Green Building Council of South Africa.

Colin Anderson, Rabie Property Group’s chief operating officer, concludes: “Linking the city with decentralised suburban areas, Century City has become the preferred home for many corporate headquarters. Sable Corner is ideally designed for this purpose – a great commercial choice.”

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