Cape Town, South Africa
The Harbour Edge building, situated at the junction of Buitengracht and Hans Strijdom Avenue, was commissioned by Developers - Edge Properties (Pty) Ltd. Although prominent, with spectacular views over the harbour and waterfront, as well as views back over the city and the mountain, this building defines a critical edge of the city, whilst facing the problem of fronting a busy highway.
The building has a linear shape and stretches the length of the site from a north to south direction. It is seven storey’s high excluding the penthouse and mezzanine floors, and has two basement parking levels.
Luxury apartments from levels one to six, ranging from 45m² Bachelor units on the first two levels to standard 104m² two bedroom apartments, form the elongated body of the building. The trailing edge of the building is defined by large two-bedroom apartments with accompanying views to the waterfront, whilst the three-bedroom luxury apartments form the sculpted extruded head, acting as a strong vertical urban marker. It defines the termination of the linear building as well as holding the corner of the city block.
The architectural treatment of the two long façades responds to both function and view. The front east-facing western boulevard façade is layered and is composed of recessed balconies acting as an outer protective punctured skin, which is further articulated by the inclusion of adjustable shutters that attenuate noise from the highway, give protection from the east sun, and act as a continuously varied in-fill collage, within the regular balcony grid. Whilst the building is both simple and polite, it successfully helps define the interface between the city and the highway.