IMAGES Craig Dummett WORDS Amelia Brown
Construction and development company The Mosaic Group worked with architects Lisa Rorich of Lisa Rorich Architects and Raewyn Hayhoe of Evolution Architects to transform an old office block into prime hotel-living-style apartments in the Cape Town CBD.
The Duke on Fountain Circle – its full name referencing its location on the corner of Hans Strijdom Avenue and Lower Heerengracht overlooking the classic inner-city water feature – is 10 storeys and comprises 81 luxury apartments. “The brief was to create an apartment building that has the look and feel of a boutique hotel,” explains Raewyn who was responsible for the interior design, as well as the reception, ground-floor retail and roof-top entertainment areas.
“Special attention was given to a sophisticated, opulent atmosphere – a celebration of modern urban living with hotel-style luxury,” she continues. This has been carried through from the entrance paving and walkway to the lobby with lounge and uniformed concierge, up to the rooftop sanctuary with its pergola, pool, gym and magnificent mountain views.
Influenced by modernism and the urban fabric in which The Duke exists, the building had a complete interior facelift. “Our objective was to maximise the light into each unit and create the perfect small space for living: window boxes with seats, and Parisian ribbed glass-and-steel room dividers to create spatial divisions without preventing the light from penetrating the spaces,” says Lisa.
There are nine apartment configurations, with studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments ranging from 37 m2 to 66 m2. Buyers have the choice of purchasing them furnished or unfurnished. “The Duke’s identity sets the tone for a masculine yet muted palette of trendy charcoal, moody greens and hints of bronze,” says Raewyn. “Products have been sourced locally and internationally to introduce warmth and materiality, with rich timber, stone elements and forged metal detail. Soothing textures and tonality are at play with the polished concrete floors.”
The Mosaic Group has been responsible for redeveloping several buildings in downtown Durban and is committed to inter-city rejuvenation and how this leads to the upgrade of the whole area. Visit theduke.co.za for more information.