The Habitat Council seeks public support for heritage grading of Cape Town street block

The Habitat Council is seeking public support for the ‘Declaration of the street block bound by Strand, Buitengracht, Bree and Waterkant Streets, Cape Town, comprising ERF 9245 CT – (The Lutheran Church Complex, the Evangelical Lutheran Church office, and two 20th century buildings), and ERF 174009 CT – (Melck/VOC warehouse) as Grade 1 Heritage Resource‘.

In order to assist those who are not aware of this historical site, a copy can be found below of a very informative presentation prepared for last November’s appeal hearing.

A refusal of a previous application for a 4 storey office block application was confirmed by the Cape High Court, and in November 2013, by the Planning Appeal Board of the City. This application to now have the defined area declared a Grade 1 Heritage site is prompted by the likelihood that a new application may now be submitted for the development with respect to the 18th century warehouse on this street block.

Letters of support can be sent to the Executive Officer: Habitat Council, email address: mlroux@mweb.co.za
OR
The South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) itself if you prefer : PO Box 4637, Cape Town, 8000 email: info@sahra.org.za – please also send a copy to the Executive Officer: Habitat Council, email address: mlroux@mweb.co.za

  • We fully support the application to SAHRA and the stand taken by the Habitat Council to have the complete Lutheran street block declared a Grade 1 Heritage site, prompted by the likelihood that a new application may now be submitted for the development with respect to the 18th century warehouse on this street block. The refusal of the 4 storey office block application having been confirmed by the Cape High Court, and, in November 2013, by the Planning Appeal Board of the City.
  • We also fully agree and support the reasoning of the Habitat Council in this application to SAHRA in that you declare the complete street block a Grade 1 Heritage Resource, so that the principle that this block reflects 18th century scale and style of construction may be strengthened.
  • We do not want to have to fight against anything like the four plus two storey block which would totally destroy the integrity of the site, – the only remaining street block representing 18th century buildings of the VOC period.

 

1 comment to The Habitat Council seeks public support for heritage grading of Cape Town street block

  • ROD LLOYD ARCHITECT & URBAN DESIGNER

    two points :
    1 I find it quite amazing that there should be a need to prove that the Warehouse has or does not have whatever percentage of the original fabric.
    It is an axiom of urban heritage preservation that wherever they occur clusters of building that support either one buildings’ heritage value, or the heritage value in street continuity, or especially a whole block that is the overriding basis for adjudicating preservation.
    Cape Town has been stripped of nearly all street scale areas of early built fabric, especially before 1800. There should be no argument regarding this issue and the whole block should receive equal Grade 1 preservation.

    2 The second point is the seriously ugly nature of the proposed additional building.
    Parking garages, above ground, anyway present real design challenges, mainly due to their “dead” aesthetic quality. In this example no amelioration is presented. There is a crudeness about the mass that is totally insensitive. It presents a huge masonry block, where, contrary to historic architecture, the openings are strong horizontals. There is neither scale nor detail texture, and the huge mass floats above the old buildings in a most unfortunate manner. This alone should condemn the project.

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