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Top Design(s) Chosen For Naspers Centre




On 4 April 2014 Future Cape Town attended the announcement event for the winner of the Reimagining An Icon Design24 Competition to reimagine the facade of the Naspers Centre in the Foreshore of Cape Town. Rashiq Fataar, our Managing Director, was one of the curators that create a shortlist of 8 from the 94 entries. A separate panel of judges then selected the 3 winners. However, from the total 94 designs that were entered, not one fully met all the requirements.

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From the official Design24 website:

The prize money of R320 000 was to be awarded to one winner and two runners-up who would receive R200 000, R80 000 and R40 000 respectively. However, none of the designs submitted met all the criteria, and thus do not qualify for an award. But although there was no clear winner, Media24 decided to reward the three favoured designs. “Some of the entries truly reimagined the iconic Naspers Centre, so even though there wasn’t a clear winner we decided to split the prize money equally between the top three entries as recognition of their artistic contribution,” said Media24 CEO Esmaré Weideman.

They are, in no particular order:

  • Cape Town-based Tsai Design Studio, whose design titled Urban Sculpture imagined a folded sheath wrapped around the building, with a prominent media wall facing Walter Sisulu Avenue.

  • MLB Architects, based in Cape Town and Johannesburg, whose design titled Reimagining an Icon used glass, mesh and green planting to create an entirely new silhouette for the building.

  • Pretoria-based DBM Architects, whose design titled Roots imagined tangled roots reaching up the full height of the building, in reference to Media24’s 100-year history in Cape Town.

Future Cape Town welcomed the Design24 competition to reimagine an icon in the city of Cape Town. It is competitions like these that inspire the designers of tomorrow and also keeping people interesting in what is happening to their cities.

Reimagining an Icon

MLB Architects “Reimagining an Icon”

Tsai Design Studio "Urban Sculpture"

Tsai Design Studio “Urban Sculpture”

DBM Architects "Roots"

DBM Architects “Roots”

More information regarding the Design24 competition can be found on the website, as well as a link to the official announcement.

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Rouen Smit

Future Cape Town Co-Founder

Future actuary working at a company based in Cape Town. Love open water swimming. Love taking public transport and feeling the city.

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  • Dandan

    Listing these final 3 finalist in my personal preference in order from most favourite:
    1. DBM Architects “Roots”
    2. MLB Architects “Reimagining an Icon”
    3. Tsai Design Studio “Urban Sculpture”

    If a year from now we can look upon the DBM Architects “Roots” design it will be a significant change to the aesthetic of the Cape Town skyline. And may other property owners use this as motivation and draw inspiration to do the same.

  • junk

    all junk
    ‘façadism’ used to be a criticism denoting a mask without content.
    now it seems architects have sold out to that, with enthusiasm too.
    even though naspers is a media company, that trades in a 2d format, surely they deserve better?
    where has real architecture gone?
    starting to feel like our national disconnect has gone from economic disparity [doesn’t matter they’re poor, so long as we’re not], through nkandla [doesn’t matter it it’s their money, so long as i have it], marikana [doesn’t matter if they die, so long as we have the profits], and oscar pistorius [i didn’t know who it was on the other side of the door, but i shot anyway] to being reflected in physical design [let’s cover a building in a load of shit, like temporary x-mass decoration, and pretend it’s interesting, useful, meaningful].
    can’t think of another country in the world where architects would stoop to involve themselves in a gimmick like this, or turn it into one with proposals like this.

  • noYOLO

    Interaction with the street/ interaction on street level with the building isn’t shown much here but from the little i do see in these images, these buildings are only superficially engaged with the street. i know, so what, arent most skyscrapers like that? sure but i thought we were about changing things, making things inclusive and bringing the city down to human level. what could these facades have given those who pass by them everyday? yet when we get the opportunity to make an intervention on a landmark like this it is still pretty vanilla and “closed”.

  • David

    For those who are interested in facades, we are currently retro-glazing the MERRIMAN SQUARE TOWERS opposite Media 24 next to the Adderley Street fountain. The potential for upgrading the value of real estate is significant indeed, and we trust that NASPERS/MEDIA24 will settle on a meaningful façade that has both function and message for our great cityscape.
    David@worldofwindows.co.za

  • Njabulo

    Pretty pictures? yes! but as easy as it is to simply criticize, most people do not know what true and beautiful architecture is. partially because finding a proper architectural building that makes sense is becoming a rarity. Having said that these designs are not as bad as people make them out to be. The whole world is in a race toward that ‘magical’ space age future. Why should we be left behind?. I hope we do not adopt what is happening in Dubai (architecture without a conscious). I like DBM’s futuristic approach to the design, while MLB’s clean and simple finishe coupled with the minor touches of nature are soft on the eye. Certainly not as bad as people say they are, I’ve seen far worse.