Waterway House

Waterway House

Architect
dhk Architects
Location
Cape Town, South Africa
Project Year
2016
Category
Offices

Shops

Showrooms

Waterway House

dhk Architects as Architects

Waterway House is the first phase of the new mixed-use Canal District under development at Cape Town’s bustling V&A Waterfront. Situated on Dock Road, the key access route into the V&A from the City, the development sits on a narrow linear site between the road and canal forming a gateway to both the V&A and the new Canal District.


The development comprises two four-storey buildings over a shared basement. Each building is fragmented by a generous entrance, atrium and circulation core, thus breaking the building up into two further segments. The space between the buildings creates a view corridor from Table Bay to the Noon Gun on Signal Hill and aligns with the bridge that connects the site to the rest of the Canal District.


The ground floor façade is recessed in order to create generous, sheltered walkways with retail frontage along the full length of the building that activate the busy pedestrian route along Dock Road. The ground floor is also slightly raised above the road and pavement level giving the retail space greater visibility from Dock Road. The floor to ceiling height at this level is nearly 1.5 times that of the office floors above, creating a solid yet transparent base to the building, with views through the retail units to the canal and urban park beyond.


The crystalline glass façade adds a lightness and animates with reflected activity, the water from the canal. The façade design is the product of an intricate analysis of the east/west orientation of this building. The integrated façade system comprises a combination of vision, fritted and spandrel panels designed to allow maximum natural light penetration into the offices while aluminium fins carefully control solar heat gain and glare.


The length of each building culminates in a fully glazed cantilevered element with screened terraces on every floor providing breakaway spaces for the offices, with spectacular city views to the south and harbour views to the north.


The eyebrow not only unifies the two buildings but also has a practical function, concealing the anchor system for rope access window cleaners. Habitable bridges link the buildings on the second and third floors allowing the two buildings to operate independently or as a single entity.


Waterway House was designed according to best practice green design principles and has achieved a 5-Star Green Star SA Design rating.

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