Paragon Architects has embarked on its first new-build project in Cape Town, the 36-unit apartment block FOUR ON O for the client BLOK. “Clinching a new-build project of this size within two years of establishing our office is quite an achievement for both us and the client,” comments Project Architect Jarred Pincus.
While Paragon Group has an established market presence in Johannesburg, the Cape Town office required time to establish itself as a stakeholder in the Western Cape, which has its differences from Gauteng. “It takes time to unlock potential projects requiring multiple factors to go right,” explains Pincus.
“Located in the heart of Sea Point, we needed to celebrate the access and uniquely central location of FOUR ON O. Units design to be a private extension of the urban area, with a lock-up-and-go mentality,” comments Project Architect Kirsty Fick.
As a developer, BLOK has an-depth understanding of the market and hence chose to deliver a highly accessible offering. Young professionals can now access what was once a high-barrier area by investing in compact studios with reduced costs that are then forwarded onto the buyers, but still deliver living spaces that celebrate the area.
The building consists of studios, one-bedroom, two-bedroom apartments and 2 x duplex apartments located on the 6th and 7th floors. The lifestyle deck offers a pool and seating area, braai area and look-out deck. FOUR ON O has two basements providing 39 parking bays. Demolition began on 20 August 2020, with project completion anticipated in November 2021. The two basements are currently in construction.
One of the main challengers was to fit 36 units onto a confined site; and make the basement parking work efficiently; while allowing for the requirements of the usual services. “The smaller site proved to be a design challenge to ensure the suitability of the vehicle access; as well as a design that maximises the allowable envelope but fits within the context and improves the area;” notes Fick.
Working with BLOK is a significant coup for Paragon Architects in Cape Town; as the developer has already curated and delivered ten projects to date, with FOUR ON O its eleventh. “They have learnt what the market is looking for; as well as being a stakeholder in ensuring a quality urban environment; which aligns perfectly with our own manifesto as Paragon Architects,” comments Pincus.
The concept behind BLOK RAW ensures that the old idea of covering up the base materials of buildings for aesthetic reasons is interrogated. Thus the base materials are looked at with a new lens as to how to celebrate their own beauty and natural occurrence. Not only does this create a unique look; it reduces the wastage generated on-site and inherently makes the model much more sustainable.
“As architects, we always have baseline sustainability elements incorporated into our work,” points out Fick. These include north-facing units, cavity walls, a preference for specifying ‘green’ materials, low-flow sanitary and brassware and efficient building systems.
Architect: Paragon Architects
Quantity surveyor: Multiqs
Structural, civil, fire and electrical engineer: Sutherland Engineers
Wet services and mechanical: EKCON
Demolition and bulk earthworks: Franki Africa (part of the Keller Group)
Main contractor: HFO Construction