From the outside Michael Fitzgerald’s Cape Town pad has grit appeal but inside, it’s curated perfection.
I've always loved concrete. When I see buildings going up, they’re always so optimistic. And then when the building is finished, the concrete covered, it’s just depressing most of the time. But in its naked state you can see its bones, the stitches where it was built.’
It’s a testament to the subtle power of Team Architects’ design that pedestrians passing it hardly take notice of the four stories of piled concrete boxes wedged neatly in-between two Georgian houses. But once you’ve stood in front of it and drunk in its crazy, concrete symmetries, it’s all you can see. As architect Philip Stiekema says, ‘what makes the building most interesting is the context’. Covering the entire site footprint, it’s an almost miraculous achievement, an edifice that speaks to the past of the Bo-Kaap as well as to its future, but also very pertinently to its contested present. It carries with it the strengths of the neighbourhood’s history, but also the potential of what is to come.
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