Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront will soon boast Africa’s first Radisson Red hotel. The hotel, which is expected to be opened later this year, will employ more than 100 people.
The development has been described as a welcome boost for the city’s job creation goals.
The Radisson Red hotel, part of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, is a unique structure inspired by art, music and fashion. Curator Dale Simpson said the hotel would shake South Africa’s hospitality industry with its bold new philosophy. Simpson said it would offer an exuberant and unique take on modern hospitality.
“We are excited to be situated in the wonderful city of Cape Town,” he said. “As we build towards developing in September, we will very much engage with the local talent in Cape Town.” Simpson said the hotel was built following studies which showed that travellers were looking for quality and genuine experiences.
He said the desire to just see the big ticket items when visiting a destination was no longer the main attraction.
“Travellers want to explore the destination from a lifestyle point of view, they want to know where the best coffee is served, where the local food markets operate and where the most exciting restaurants in the neighbourhood are.
”The drive of localisation continues. At Radisson Red, we look forward to sharing all our knowledge and foraging all of our areas to offer guests that genuine quality experience in Cape Town.”
Simpson said the V&A Waterfront, together with leading architects, had transformed six grain silos into modern sustainable spaces.
“Radisson Red embraces freedom, flexibility, fun and will bring these elements to life through a whole new type of guest experience.
“We’re a city hotel for an ageless expressive crown, and by occupying Silo Six, we’re right in the heart of the bustling Waterfront, amidst the city’s vibrant nightlife, only 25 minutes from Cape Town International Airport,and all the while boasting Instagram-worthy harbour and mountain views.”
He said the V&A development followed successful launches in Brussels and Minneapolis, with Campinas and Glasgow also expected to follow suit.
He said that adding to the buzz would be the highly-anticipated Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz Mocca), set to open in September.
“Art is always at the heart of Red and our dynamic design is both inspiring and functional.
“So it makes sense that we’d be neighbouring the world’s largest museum dedicated to showcasing contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora.”
Simpson added however, that beyond the hotel’s dynamic location that would prove attractive to guests, the hotel would also boast trends and lifestyle of the ageless millennial, tapping into modern, high-tech travellers.
“In addition to our 252 contemporary rooms and fully equipped gym, the hotel will house four events and games studios for up to 90 guests, ideal for hosting high-octane meetings and social occasions.
It probably goes without saying, but guests will be able to access super-fast free wi-fi and 24/7 entertainment tech throughout the property.
Additional good news for all animal-lovers is that all “fur babies” of 8kg or under are welcome to stay at the hotel too.”
Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront is bucking the sluggish trend in the national economy. It pulled in over three-million visitors in December alone, has substantially boosted its coffers and has embarked on some dynamic new developments. Retail, commercial, leisure and residential developments are all included in the 123 ha mix.
The 26-year-old V&A Waterfront receives more than 24-million visitors each year. While the V&A is clearly a tourist hub, locals make up the largest share of visitors, at 63%. Tourists make up just short of a quarter of the number of people who visit, with upcountry travellers making up the remaining 14%. “Our vision is to be the best waterfront in the world, but we also want to continue to be a space which locals love and celebrate,” says V&A Waterfront CEO David Green. So far, the V&A seems to be hitting the sweet spot by diversifying and appealing to various markets. The most hotly anticipated development is the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art (Zeitz MOCAA) in the historic grain silo district of the V&A. Green describes the grain silos as a phenomenal piece of industrial architecture, which are being repurposed by the ‘magic and genius’ of renowned British architect Thomas Heatherwick.
“The redevelopment plan specifically aims to retain and honour the historic fabric and soul of the Grain Silo building, in which the Zeitz MOCAA will be housed, while transforming the interior into a unique cutting-edge space to house the collection,” says Green. When it is completed next year, it will be the largest museum built in Africa for over 100 years – since the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, in Cairo. The aim is to harness the growing interest in contemporary African art and bring together collections of African art from across the world. The museum is also seen as a drawcard for attracting more tourists. CEO of Cape Town Travel Enver Duminy says the Zeitz MOCAA is set to be a ‘jewel in the V&A crown’ and will be home to 80 gallery spaces. The R500-million investment in the MOCAA dovetails with various others in the area. Four new silo developments will hold 35 000 m2 of new corporate offices, a Virgin Active Classic Health Club, a residential development, a midrange internationally branded hotel and over 1 050 additional parking bays. The road leading to the silo area will be widened to accommodate the expected increase in traffic.
Green Building First
The V&A has been working with the Green Building Council of South Africa to develop a new mixed-use tool which will be a first for South Africa. The new developments in the precinct will be located on top of the 2 750 parking bay super basement that will house the district seawater cooling plant and a number of other services, including sprinkler tanks, backup generators and diesel storage, potable water and gas. With Silo 1 and 2 already completed, this will bring the total investment in the silo development by V&A shareholders, Growthpoint and the Government Employees Pension Fund, managed by the Public Investment Corporation, to over R2.5-billion. About 2 500 people are expected to work at the Silo district every day once it is up and running. Currently, over 19 200 people are directly employed at the V&A, with another 16 894 indirect jobs. Cape Town’s first cruise liner terminal is also being developed at the V&A. The terminal upgrade will make up the first phase of a larger site revamp. The passenger terminal is expected to be completed in December 2017. Given that the cruise industry is seasonal, the terminal will be developed and run as a multiuse building, which can operate all year round. “The cruise terminal gives us the opportunity to extend a warm welcome to Cape Town, and is important as it’s the first impression it will create of the city,” says Green. An increasing number of people are also calling the Waterfront home, with residential developments becoming popular and prices on the rise. The new No 3 Silo residential development will comprise 75 luxury one- to four-bedroom apartments, with the same environmentally sustainable elements used in the No 2 silo. The V&A recently introduced its first rental developments, which has attracted young professionals. “The Ports Edge and Breakwater areas cater to a younger professional market that are not yet committed to buying property, but want to live and work and play in an urban-chic environment,” says Green.
The Waterfront has included green technologies in the build phases of its developments as well as retrofitting onto existing buildings. A 7 500 m2 rooftop solar system was installed on six rooftops of major buildings in the precinct last year. Working with the Green Building Council of South Africa, the V&A has set a target of achieving at least a four-star Green Star SA rating for its buildings. The R50-million Watershed, which makes up the old Red and Blue craft markets at the Waterfront, has also gained ground. Made up mostly of craft and design businesses and traders, it tripled its retail trade in the 12 months from the end of 2014 to the end of 2015. A street was created through the physical building, turning it into a multi- functional space. The new development has sparked innovation and creativity, with designers sharpening their skills there. Small businesses now make up between 3% and 4% of the overall retail trade at the Waterfront, up from 1% a year ago. The Waterfront, which has 22 official landmarks on site, is part of south Africa’s historical legacy. It was developed in 1988 by Transnet Limited, with official commercial trading getting under way in November 1990. Now, 26 years later, the V&A has contributed R33-billion to the South African gross domestic product. This is nearly four times more than in 2002. With tourism identified as a key growth sector in the province overall, MEC for Economic Opportunities Alan Winde says the Cape Town Air Access team is finalising negotiations for nonstop flights between Cape Town and key strategic destinations in Africa, Asia and the US.
The revitalisation of the V&A has also blended with changes in Cape Town’s central business district (CBD). “For many years, the V&A overshadowed the central city. We would like to think that the new-found popularity and investor confidence in the CBD has helped to contribute to the new-found investor confidence in the V&A. The two areas complement each other very well these days, and the reconnection is highly beneficial to both,” says Rob Kane, chairperson of the Cape Town Central City Improvement District. He says that, for a number of decades, there has been a disconnect between the central city district and the sea, largely owing to the town planning of the 1930s and 1940s, when the area known as the Foreshore today was reclaimed from the sea to extend the harbour. Harbour infrastructure, together with the freeway network built across the Foreshore effectively cut off the rest of the CBD from Table Bay harbour. But the vacant lots and car parks of the past have been transformed into an increasingly vibrant area. Investors are ploughing R8.2-billion into developments in the area over the next three to five years, from the construction of a new state-of-the-art hospital and the expansion of the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) to new office complexes, international hotels and residential accommodation. “Simultaneously, the V&A has developed. We are now seeing the two areas – the CBD and the V&A – move closer and closer together, reconnecting again for the first time in nearly 90 years. This is huge for the city and overall,” says Kane. The R700-million ‘Canal District’ straddling both sides of Dock road, in Cape Town, is testament to this. With a canal at its heart, the area will have a new urban park incorporating the remnants of the historical Amsterdam Battery. Totalling 75 000 m2 (or 7.6 ha), the mixed-use Canal District ties into the arterial route that connects the city to the V&A, and into the main pedestrian route that runs along Dock road. A corporate head office for British American Tobacco South Africa (BAT South Africa) is the first project in this new area. Called Amsterdam House, the building has been designed according to best practice green design principles. “The Canal District is a piece in the jigsaw puzzle that provides a seamless link through to the CTICC and Cape Town’s CBD,” says Green. The 2010 FIFA World Cup has been given some credit for hiking interest in the Cape Town CBD and the V&A, with many locals reconnecting with the CBD for the first time in a long time. For Green, the V&A provides endless scope for cascading development in Cape Town. “A waterfront cannot be viewed in isolation. It is an extension and neighbourhood of the city, not just an attraction,” he says. The Waterfront’s being intrinsic to the V&A’s development has been immensely rewarding for Green. “It is not only the pride of the people who work here that energises me, but seeing the pride that South Africans hold. History, industry, commerce and tourism are intertwined to make this an incredibly special place.”
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has announced the 15 Finalists for its 2016 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards in the five categories; Community, Destination, Environment, Innovation and People. The 15 Finalists, which were chosen after a rigorous judging process, showcase the highest level of sustainability practices within the Travel & Tourism sector.
To understand how diverse responsible tourism is and the many ways it can help local communities and environments, you only have to look at below examples, carefully selected by Tourism for Tomorrow judges. The 2016 Awards saw applications from 62 countries across all continents. Following the first phase of the three stage judging process all applications have now been carefully evaluated by a committee of independent expert judges against established sustainable tourism criteria, which include community development, preservation of cultural and natural heritage, and innovative solutions for sustainable practices.
V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa and Wilderness Safaris from South Africa and Botswana led the way for the sector in Africa as shortlisted finalists, which will see them move forward into the second phase of on-site evaluations by international sustainable tourism experts, assessing the organisations and the business practices they have highlighted in their application.
Winners will be officially announced during the Awards Ceremony taking place in Dallas, USA on 7 April 2016 during WTTC’s Global Summit.
The Finalists of the 2016 WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are:
Community Award Finalists
- Expediciones Sierra Norte, Pueblos Mancomunados, Mexico
- Sapa O’Chau, Vietnam
- Yayasan Ekowisata Indonesia, Indonesia
Destination Award Finalists
- Parkstad Limburg, Netherlands
- Swiss Parks Network, Switzerland
- V&A Waterfront, South Africa
Environment Award Finalists
- Alcatraz Cruises, US
- Lindblad Expeditions, US and worldwide
- Wilderness Safaris, South Africa / Botswana
Innovation Award Finalists
- ANVR, the Netherlands
- Northsailing, Iceland
- PWC, Travel Foundation & TUI Group, United Kingdom
People Award Finalists
- Jus’ Sail, Saint Lucia
- Kinyei International, Cambodia
- Youth Career Initiative (YCI), United Kingdom
Construction on the P-Grade (premium) 6,680sqm building, which boasts views of the Indian Ocean, began in June last year (2014), and is set to be complete by December (2015). Originally targeting a 4-Star Green Star SA office building rating, Growthpoint has been notified by the Green Building Council SA that the development had in fact secured a 5-Star Green Star SA – Office v1 Design Rating.
“This is a great achievement and will serve as a green building beacon in greater Durban and KwaZulu-Natal,” says Greg de Klerk, KZN Regional Head of Growthpoint Properties.
“The five storey development was conceived as two corporate office buildings on a single four
Rudolf Pienaar, Growthpoint Properties Office Division Director, comments: “Our Lincoln on the Lake and Mayfair on the Lake office buildings in the Parkside precinct of Umhlanga New Town Centre were pioneering green building developments in the Growthpoint portfolio. We have come a long way and now have 23 Green Star SA rated buildings in our portfolio countrywide and several more under development, which have been submitted or will be submitted to the GBCSA for Green Star certification.”
Pienaar adds: “The Lincoln on the Lake office development secured the first 4-Star Green Star SA As-Built rating for a multi-tenanted office building in South Africa back in 2012. Growthpoint continues to be the leader in terms of green rated buildings within its portfolio in the country. Our new Ridgeview building being certified by the GBCSA as the first 5-Star Green Star SA – Office v1 Design rated building in Durban furthers our market leading position on the sustainability front.
“Growthpoint’s Ridgeview development in Ridgeside is a unique and leading-edge office project, which is located on an excellent site in this sought-after precinct of Umhlanga. We’ve developed a P-Grade office building that we’re justifiably proud of.”
De Klerk comments: “When it comes to thriving office nodes in Durban, there’s a continued move by business north into Umhlanga Ridgeside, Umhlanga New Town Centre and La Lucia Ridge. These nodes are experiencing the highest levels of office development in Durban.
“Around 50,000sqm of office space will come to market over the next year in these nodes, of which about a third is being developed by Growthpoint. We are looking forward to the completion of our Ridgeview development, which will be a great new addition to our office portfolio.”
Umhlanga Ridge has become one of the country’s leading nodes for green buildings. In addition to its ground-breaking Lincoln on the Lake and Mayfair on the Lake office buildings, Growthpoint is investing R117.3 million in another 5,500sqm new green office development, named The Boulevard, in the Parkside precinct of Umhlanga which will be completed in April 2016. Upon completion, The Boulevard will make up a city block of green buildings in Umhlanga New Town Centre, providing A-Grade office space of 20,000sqm.
Growthpoint is South Africa’s largest REIT and a JSE ALSI Top 40 Index company. It owns and manages a diversified portfolio of 471 properties in South Africa, 53 properties in Australia through its investment in GOZ, and a 50% interest in the properties at the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town. Growthpoint’s consolidated property assets are valued at more than R100 billion. Its growing property portfolio in KwaZulu-Natal is valued at over R5.5billion.
Sustainability buffs will turn Cape Town a deeper shade of green when they converge in November for the much-anticipated Green Building Convention 2015, the theme of which this year is “Inspiring Better Buildings.”
“Sustainability draws interest from a diverse range of professions and sectors,” says Brian Wilkinson, CEO of the Green Building Council of SA (GBCSA.) “The Convention brings together all of those to share insights, knowledge and inspiring stories.”
The premier event on the sustainability industry’s calendar, sponsored by Property Finance at Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking, this year’s Convention will take place on 2-6 November, led by broadcast personality and property guru Kura Chihota who will emcee the programme.
Opening with three days of master classes and insider property tours, the emphasis for delegates is on sustainability initiatives in action.
Keynotes and round tables kick off on Day 4 (Thursday 04 November) with a keynote address by award-winning businessman, author and passionate environmental advocate Jochen Zeitz. He will tackle the economic and business angle on sustainability – a subject he is uniquely placed to discuss.
As Chairman of the Kering board’s sustainable development committee; former CEO of PUMA; and founder of the Zeitz Foundation for Intercultural Ecosphere Safety, Zeitz is also widely lauded for developing the Environmental Profit and Loss Account, a model for addressing sustainability goals as part of the corporate bottom-line.
On Day 5 of the Convention, Chris Smith, a member of The Naked Scientists, will deliver the opening keynote address. Founded in 2001, The Naked Scientists are based at Cambridge University in the UK and make up a team of scientists, doctors and communicators whose passion is to engage the general public more closely with the worlds of science, technology and medicine. Smith hosts radio shows on science around the world, and in South Africa, he can be heard on Friday mornings on Primedia’s Talk Radio 702 and 567 CapeTalk.
“The Naked Scientists have reached audiences across the world,” says Wilkinson, pointing out that podcasts by the group have been downloaded more than 40 million times over the past five years.
The radio shows cover not only scientific but also business and social perspectives on sustainability. Smith is well-known for explaining complicated scientific phenomenon in simple, easy to understand ways, with topics ranging from the science of climate change to why and how your productivity would be affected by natural light.
Former Greenpeace activist and chemist Professor Michael Braungart will talk about how, as a society, we can re-think industrial production in a way that is positive instead of negative in terms of sustainability.
As founder and scientific CEO of the Hamburg-based consulting firm, Environmental Protection and Encouragement Agency (EPEA) Internationale Umweltforschung, Braungart will go a step further and talk about achieving sustainable abundance in production. He has authored notable books on his pioneering concepts, including, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the way we make things; and, Beyond Sustainability: Designing for Abundance.
Another heavyweight keynote speaker in the line-up for the GBCSA Convention is Donald Thompson, an architect and founder of The Center for Regenerative Design and Collaboration (CRDC).
Thompson is a real innovator and is noted for his commitment to changing the face of construction in Costa Rica and his contribution to conservation. He is the designer of the patented AGUA “Bottle to Tile” Out Cycling project, and consults to the Costa Rican Government and various multinational corporations. Thompson’s talk at the Convention is titled “Outcycling: Turning vicious cycles to virtuous ones”.
The Convention programme ensures ample opportunity for delegates to network, both formally and informally, with an opening cocktail and winetasting on November 4; a conference party at The Shed at the V&A Waterfront on November 5; and the Green Star SA Leadership Awards reception.
The V&A Waterfront’s innovative architectural approach to the R50-million redevelopment of a former craft market and disused workshop, into a spacious, bustling hub for quality African art and design now known as the Watershed, was recognised at both this year’s Cape Institute for Architecture (CIfA) Awards and at the 19th Annual South African Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC) Congress on Wednesday, 30 September.
The Watershed was one of only 12 developments in the Western Cape to receive a CIfA Award for Architecture this year, with the Institute commending the re-imagining of a closed, warehouse space into an open-ended ‘indoor street’ that is a lively hub for small businesses.
“There is something about the collective nature of [a] street that brings us firmly in relation to each other… The project beautifully demonstrates the possibility of a more integrated, diverse society,” said the Institute in conferring the award.
The Watershed was also named a co-winner in the ‘Redevelopment of Existing Space’ award category at the SACSC Congress’s Annual Retail Design & Development Awards (RDDA) that same evening. The prestigious awards recognise exceptional shopping centre design combined with economic success within the SA property industry. They have a particular interest in developments with excellent design solutions, and those that achieve a clear overall development goal. A development project’s positive response to its market and its surroundings, use of innovative design and construction solutions, and its embracing sustainable design and business techniques are also heavily weighted.
Formerly the Craft Market and Wellness Centre and commonly known as the Blue Shed, the historic warehouse structure of the Watershed was completely reimagined by the V&A Waterfront and Wolff Architects, and opened to the public for trade in early October 2014.
The now open-ended building has been transformed into double-volume height, with a 100m-long skylight ensuring an abundance of natural light. The southern façade sheeting has been replaced by glass overlooking the Robinson Dry Dock and Table Mountain.
Today, the curated space of the Watershed offers a platform to talented, emerging designers and showcases more than 150 tenants, jointly representing over 365 fresh and innovative brands ranging from ceramics and furniture to textiles, fashion and jewellery.
The Watershed also includes 1000m² of dedicated exhibition and eventing space, a wellness centre and Workshop17, the innovation technology hub.
Built in 1921, the Grain Silo complex at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront is set to become a hive of activity for travellers and locals.
Visitors are in for a visual feast at one of Africa’s top tourist attractions – the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.
Together with leading architects, the Waterfront is transforming six grain silos into spectacular sustainable spaces with harbour and mountain views. The complex, originally built in 1921, will house the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) and Silo Hotel.
The V&A Waterfront’s Silo District is already home to a six-star green office space and more than 30 luxurious apartments (these are silos one and two). Since completion in 2013, both developments have scooped national awards.
Plans for silos three, four and five include additional residential development, a Virgin Active Classic Health Club and another office building. All three are scheduled for completion next year.
According to siloblog.co.za, the state-of-art Zeitz MOCCA will also be finished in 2016. It’s been described as “… a new public non-for-profit cultural institution focused on being the first major museum in Africa and a leading museum in the world”.
Once the tallest building on the Cape Town skyline, the repurposed complex will showcase what is considered “the most extensive and representative collection of contemporary art from Africa … gifted in perpetuity … by ex-Puma CEO and chairman, Jochen Zeitz”.
Spanning nine floors, gallery spaces will also display travelling international exhibitions. In addition, CapeTownMagazine.com reports that the museum is dedicating “an entire floor to art education, a fancy rooftop sculpture garden, a storage and conservation vault, a number of reading rooms, a bookshop, a café and a restaurant and bar”.
The Silo Hotel, located atop the museum, will boast 360-degree mountain and sea views. The Waterfront’s CEO, David Green, believes the luxury boutique hotel “will offer something rather unique by virtue of its size and incredibly spacious location”.
Another unique offering at the V&A’s Silo District will be the first Radisson Red hotel in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Occupying silo six, the concept hotel is set to open its doors to guests early 2017.
President and CEO of hotel group Carlson Rezidor, Wolfgang Neumann says, “Radisson Red is inspired by the trends and lifestyle of the millennium and is totally tapped into modern, high-octane and high-tech travellers.”
Says Green, “The Silo District will offer business opportunities, accommodation, lifestyle options and eateries.”
He adds, “Developments will be focused around the Zeitz MOCAA that sits at the heart of this district and the surrounding new central pedestrian plaza – Silo Square – providing a gathering place for locals and international visitors alike.”
Western Cape MEC of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism Alan Winde has applauded the developments at the V&A Waterfront, saying “They are continually reinvesting and reinventing their offering.”