Century City, Western Cape, South Africa

Aurecon provided engineering services to breathe life to a contemporary urban space for Capetonians and tourists

“Century City Square facilitates flexibility and social gatherings by providing an architecturally beautiful area where everything from outdoor functions and concerts to product launches can be hosted. This urban space can be enjoyed by Capetonians and tourists 24/7…”  Eric Krepelka, Aurecon Unit Manager – Buildings, Cape Town.

At a cost of ZAR1 billion, Century City Square is the new hospitality and commercial hub of this mixed-use development. The Rabie Property Group was both the client and project manager for the project. The development included the Century City Conference Centre, a hotel, apartments, offices, and restaurants. These surround an open public space with a super basement and a structured garage with more than a thousand undercover parking bays. Aurecon’s role included structural engineering, civil engineering, wet services, and fire safety services for various areas of Century City Square.

One of the challenges that the Aurecon team had to overcome was constructing a parking building that would provide sufficient parking facilities while keeping to a single underground basement. Due to the highwater table in the area, multi-storey parking was not an option. The solution that the team envisioned centred on creating a cost-effective and aesthetically pleasing way to cover up the facades that would shield the parked vehicles, as well as the fluorescent strip lighting on the concrete soffits from outside view. Simultaneously, it would provide for sufficient cross-ventilation to avoid costly services such as mechanical ventilation.

To achieve this outcome on the facades, three varying shades of cut aluminium panels were structured in an unarranged format onto all the facades that were visible. Thanks to the lights, the building boasts an animated facade during the day time as well as after the sun has set.

All world-class cities have public spaces that its people can enjoy. The Century City Square fulfils this role in Cape Town by providing a vibrant, unique and safe environment where people can walk, appreciate nature, and take in the constant flow of life and energy that the surrounding coffee shops, hotel public areas and restaurants provide. The result is achieved by an architectural aesthetic that seamlessly combines bold, natural and transparent materials in a contemporary way.

At the official opening, Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities in the Western Cape, said that the new Conference Centre and Hotel will play a big role in attracting interesting new business to Cape Town as well as adding to the number of visiting conference delegates here. The development has generated more than 300 new jobs. The project also won the South African Property Developers of Africa (SAPOA) Mixed Use Developments Award for Innovative Excellence in Property Development. 

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