Wright stuff

WORDS: Remy Raitt | PROFILE PHOTO: Shavan Rahim

Walk into the Greg Wright Architects studio in Cape Town and you can’t help wishing that you designed buildings too. Visit the firm through the Creative Cape Town studio tours and see why this firm is on our radar.

Greg Wright Architects have been in the business since 1995. What started out as a one-man show run out of Greg Wright’s home is now a thriving firm that employs approximately 25 people. Based in the creative Fringe district of the Mother City, the contemporary studio is, as fellow architect and partner Greg Scott describes, “a place you want to come to and are excited to work at every day”.

With the fairly recent development of an interior-design service called Site Interior Design and construction company Graft Construction Management, the firm and these two stand-alone affiliates are now able to provide all these services for new developments, underpinned by the attention to detail and quality for which Greg Wright Architects have become renowned.

Greg (Scott) hopes that the cohesive offering of these services will encourage visitors to the studio to rethink the archetypal architecture firm and realise that polarised business isn’t necessarily the only option. “I also hope the studio will attest to the efforts we’ve made to create a space that’s highly functional as well as being a place of aesthetic value,” he says.

Greg says the studio space on the corner of Roeland and Buitenkant Streets came to them in a fortuitous manner. After a move from their old studio, where the new Cape Quarter now stands, the firm quickly transformed their current space from a shell into a contemporary work space with minimalist aesthetics and sprinkled with architectural motifs — like the glass boardroom doors that feature blueprint designs.

He says that he and Greg (Wright) always saw The Fringe as an area with great potential. “This is an ideal space for young architects to populate and see what can be done with a generic space. There’s the potential for constant evolution and clarity of vision here,” Greg says.

‘A kind of maverick’

Greg also believes that Cape Town as a broader location is perfectly suited to the firm.

“Cape Town is a kind of maverick,” he says, “it steps out of the box and is essentially a first-world city in a third-world continent. There’s a vastly polarised population here but we’ve been lucky enough that a decent portion of our portfolio of clients are those who’ve become increasingly educated and appreciative of quality and design. This number is on the increase and bodes well for the future of design in both Cape Town and South Africa as a whole.”

Greg says that when it comes to creativity in Cape Town, the bar is raised daily. And with initiatives like Creative Week Cape Town, running from 9–18 September, everyone in the city is welcome to revel in, experience and share this ever-growing, diverse creativity – even if you’re not an architect or designer by trade.

More information: www.gwarchitects.co.za, studio@gwarchitects.co.za, www.siteid.co.za

Meet the makers

Join Creative Cape Town, the Cape Town Design Network and VISI for Meet the Makers – a special sneak peek into the inner workings of some of Cape Town’s most dynamic design studios. A select group of innovative Cape Town designers will host exclusive tours of their studios.
During Meet the Makers, visitors will have the opportunity to see work in progress and intimately view the environment in which Cape Town designers produce their original, thought-provoking creations. This is the perfect opportunity for those interested in design to meet various Cape Town designers and learn about their methodologies and studio culture.
Limited space available, RSVP required.

For more information on the Meet the Makers studio tours as well as other events taking place during Creative Week Cape Town go to www.creativeweekct.co.za or RSVP to rsvp@ctdn.co.za.