Architect and Builder Magazine South Africa Dec 2017 / Jan 2018 - Page 20

SILO DISTRICT OVERVIEW T he development of the V&A Waterfront’s (V&A) Silo District development commenced in 2010 when the V&A was in the process of identifying its next growth node. The area around the existing Grain Silo, historically called the Clocktower Precinct, was identified as the most opportune expansion zone for a number of reasons: the area was not being effectively utilised and the land around what was now a derelict grain silo was being used as a car park. The other reason being the V&A’s long term goal of integrating the Waterfront more with the urban fabric of the City of Cape Town - ensuring that any visitor experience when visiting the City and the Waterfront is a seamless process. The Silo District was viewed as an area of growth extending out from the heart of the Waterfront, from the shopping centre, across the Clocktower area, past the Silo District and into the Canal District, which the V&A is now busy developing. Development Plan The original plans the V&A inherited from the previous owners viewed the Clocktower Precinct as being largely retail led and had planning rights in place for ‘big box’ retail and podium parking extending right the way across the precinct and wrapping around the Grain Silo. This plan 20 basically turned the focus of new development away from the Silo. It was decided to scrap this plan and the V&A held a workshop in March 2010 where a number of respected professionals met to pull the existing plan apart and put it back together again. The site was reconceptualised as the Silo District with the Grain Silo as the hero and with a focus on developing a modern mixed use, pedestrianised and sustainable precinct that should be lead by commercial development but not overpowered by it. The V&A wanted to ensure that they got the balance of the mix right so that the District felt active throughout the week as well as on weekends. Ensuring active shopfronts on the ground floors, hotel and residential development would ensure a sense of place and community. It was through this successful workshop that the idea of the Silo Square was first formulated – a circular space around the Grain Silo building. The footprints and the massing of the buildings envisaged started to be unpacked. Silo District Buildings At the same time the V&A was in talks with Investment firm Allan Gray, who had been tenants at the V&A for many years. Due to rapid growth, the company was accommodating staff across a number of buildings and they were looking to consolidate into one head office, considering the V&A and other sites around the City. Due to these requirements, accommodating Allan Gray was essentially the catalyst for the initial development at the Silo District. Now known as No 1 Silo the building was presented as a sustainable, world leading development and capable of holding its own in any major city in the world in terms of its architecture and performance. Importantly Allan Gray bought into the vision of the Silo District and construction commenced in 2011, completing in 2013. At the same time No 2 Silo, t Rf'7B&W6FVFFWfVVBWG6FRbFRfW'7V66W76gVbd&v2'VB'WGFrFW6RWr'FVG2vV@ffW"&RW&&&W6FVFWW&V6R6&VBFFR&'FBFFWfVVBBFRbd2FRFV6RbFRw&GGGW7G&W76V6Rbv&r&&W"F2VVRF7W&R266FW&V@6F7G&7BfW'fW