The battle to save the integrity of the 18th century Martin Melck warehouse continues

In November 2013 the city council dismissed a developers’ appeal, which was hoped would effectively put paid to development plans that involved the old warehouse built in 1764. This should have ended the controversy that has dragged on for years, involving the city council, the provincial government, heritage agencies and court action, but no, the developer has now tabled an “amended” proposal.

The new proposal is for a ‘tight, taut, high-tech modern box’ on top of the old warehouse. Mike Augoustides, owner of the property, was reported in the media as stating that he regarded the changes as ‘numerous and substantial’ and ‘the new design has less of an impact than the design submitted four years ago, and we are hopeful the city will see it in the same light.’


 One of the staunch objectors to the development on the old warehouse was the Habitat Council. This organisation, supported by the Lutheran Church, took legal action against the provincial government after it had overturned the city’s decision to reject the development proposal. The province had given it the green light, but was forced to withdraw this approval after a decision by the high court.

Erf 174009 is inside the Central City Heritage Protection Overlay Zone (HPOZ); and, as a consequence, the City Council must give its approval for any alterations or additions. When considering any such an application, the Council must take into account the effect that such activity may have on the significance of the heritage place or area.

Heritage Inventory layer_Heritage audit 2013-2015

The present City of Cape Town heritage grading for the Lutheran Church Block


2 comments to The battle to save the integrity of the 18th century Martin Melck warehouse continues

  • Simon

    Whilst I agree that the proposed extension is profoundly badly done and handled with very little architectural skill or vision, the project still shows a positive willingness to invest in one of Cape Town’s old jewels. The situation should therefore be dealt with sensitively as to not deter the investment but rather to guide it into the hands of a more capable professional team. A competently considered extension has the potential to unlock the building for the future ensuring that it remains functionally appropriate and therefore avoiding it becoming functionally and contextually redundant. A great example of a heritage building that’s been unlocked with great architectural skill and integrity, is 24 Alfred street by NoeroWolf Architects.

  • Ray

    This is an architectural, cultural and historical heritage site, and the proposed development is not only hideous, it also devalues the entire Lutheran Church block. This should NOT be allowed to happen!

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