- The demolition of an unassuming building at 142 Bree Street in Cape Town’s city centre has started after briefly being transformed into an urban street art gallery.
- In its place will come The Fynbos, a 24-storey mixed-use space with 689 apartments, a rooftop sunset terrace with pool, a fitness centre, restaurant, and bar.
- The Fynbos is also branded as the country and the continent’s first biophilic building and will feature a 1,200m² vertical garden made up of indigenous plants.
- The development is scheduled for completion in the final quarter of 2024.
Branded as the first biophilic building in South Africa and on the continent, The Fynbos development, which will feature a 1,200m² vertical garden made up of indigenous plants, has broken ground in Cape Town’s city centre.
A vacant building at 142 Bree Street in Cape Town was recently turned into an urban street art gallery, with the creations of some of the city’s top graffiti artists adorning dilapidated walls. The impromptu art show was the final bow of an unassuming low-rise light-industrial building in the heart of the city, with brightly coloured walls bashed down to make way for a first in Africa.
The new development, The Fynbos, will, once completed, have 24 storeys of mixed-use space, featuring 689 apartments, a rooftop sunset terrace with lap pool, co-working space, and a fitness centre. The ground floor will have a plant-based restaurant, tearoom, and botanical bar.
Construction of The Fynbos, which officially broke ground with the recent start of the demolition process at 142 Bree Street, is expected to finish in the final quarter of 2024.
Chief to The Fynbos’ appeal and very ethos is its biophilic design, defined as increasing connectivity to the natural environment in an urban setting, with emphasis on available light, air flow, clean water, and plants.
To achieve this, Lurra Capital, the owners and developers of The Fynbos, envisage a vertical garden stretching from top to bottom of the building, and have hired a specialist team of technical botanists, headed up by Donovan Gillman, who has over 45 years growing plants in difficult locations across Africa, to make this design a reality.
The vertical garden will be made up of 30 species of tree and 20 species of shrub, “all indigenous to the Cape” and selected for their aesthetic appeal as well as their resilience. The trees will be anchored in place to survive gusts, while more elaborate planters will be sheltered in the high-rise’s crevices, offering protection from the city’s infamous wind.
Root scanners will be used to monitor growth, and sensors across the system will provide plants with the support and nutrients they need through the services of “flying gardeners”. The plants, in turn, will make the building cooler and assist in natural noise reduction.
But a building covered in shrubs and trees won’t be the only green aspect of The Fynbos. In pursuing a formal Green Star Certification from the Green Building Council of South Africa, The Fynbos will also use solar PV panels for power and cantilevered balconies that enable rainwater harvesting.
Luxury studio units at The Fynbos start at R999,000 and range in size from 24m² up to 40m². A one-bedroom apartment, ranging from 34m² up to 58m², starts from R1.632 million, while two-bedroomed apartments, to up 82m² in size, start at R4.920 million.