Innovative designs for the New York Waterfront

Innovative designs for the New York Waterfront

By Vanessa Quirk.

On 03 April 2014 BIG, along with 9 other teams including OMA and WXY, unveiled their proposals for “Rebuild by Design,” a competition which tasks teams with improving the resiliency of waterfront communities through locally-responsive, innovative design. Each proposal was required to be “flexible, easily phased, and able to integrate with existing projects in progress.” As Henk…

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Go inside the ZEITZ Museum of Contemporary Art Africa by Heatherwick Studio

Go inside the ZEITZ Museum of Contemporary Art Africa by Heatherwick Studio

Heatherwick Studio, based in London, is recognised internationally for projects including the UK Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, The London 2012 Olympic Cauldron, the New Bus for London and the redevelopment of Pacific Place, a 640,000m2 complex in the centre of Hong Kong.

Also read: Cape Town to get a Museum of Contemporary Art


How do you turn forty-two vertical concrete tubes into a…

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Cape Town to get Museum of Contemporary Art

Today, 19 November, the V&A Waterfront unveiled the ZEITZ Museum of Contemporary Art for Africa…

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Why a ferry service for Cape Town might make sense

by Harry Valentine

There was a time prior to the early to mid 20th century when a “penny ferry”…

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Development of the Week: Workshop17

Source: Wolff Architects

Source: Wolff Architects

Source: Wolff Architects

Source: Wolff…

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WATCH: Video fly-through of MoDILA. Cape Town’s Guggenheim?

“Whilst architects have retained their traditional strength of cultural and aesthetic formal considerations, they have lost their numeracy and the ability to demonstrate that architectural intention and performance need not be diametrically opposed concerns, and in a nation which is still largely design illiterate, the price that society pays for ill conceived and overly simplified solutions to the built environment has been the production diminished public environments, and increased isolation of the architect from the public imagination as a trustworthy and responsible practitioner and agent for change.”

The design for MoDILA is a bold, provocative iconic building that serves not only as a building to house works of art and design, but to be a place and space that captures the imagination of citizens. It lends itself to being a contributor to various sectors of our society ranging from tourism to the arts. The building will serve as a catalyst to unleashing the socioeconomic potential of its immediate surroundings and contribute to the forming of a clear relationship and understanding between our country and design.

Watch the video fly-through after the break.

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Polaris Climate Change Observatory: New images unveiled

The sophisticated building design will represent the look of a giant tabular iceberg, surrounded by water on all sides and depicting a melting ice block as a result of climate change. Three iconic symbols will be represented: the iceberg, the planet and the ice-core

Architects: GAPP Architects in assocation with Atelier Brückner

Completion: 2014

Location: Collier Jetty, V&A Waterfront

The Polaris Climate Change Observatory (PCCO) is a key project of the International
Polar Foundation communicating to the public on the importance of the
Polar Regions and the research being conducted there to improve the
understanding of the mechanisms driving climate change. The Polaris will
allow multiple stakeholder interactions giving the public, policy makers and
actors a forum for improving mutual understanding of needs and actions
required to assure an adapted response to development needs.

The PCCO will provide a showcase for research and forecasting tools, as well
as explaining regulatory measures, and international agreements aiming to
set in place planetary governance frameworks and instruments. In addition,
researchers and industrial actors will also be able to showcase innovation
and expertise that will help society to meet the challenges that lie ahead
in the battle to restrain climate change and intelligently manage resource
depletion in the face of growing population pressure on fragile ecosystems.

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First Polaris Climate Change Observatory set for Waterfront site by 2014

Why Cape Town?

Cape Town is the perfect location for the first Polaris Climate Change Observatory, bringing together the ingenuity of one of Africa’s premier cities with a revolutionary concept which will change the way visitors understand the world, the changing climate and ways in which humanity can take responsibility and make decisions for the future.

The Polaris will be like no other placein the world today, by taking the visitor through the origins of the Earth right up to present day in a bid to put climate change into perspective. 

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Cape Town Waterfront from Wheel of Excellence by DanieVDM on Flickr.

V&A Waterfront: New Food Court planned by new V&A Waterfront owners.

Cruise Facilities in Cape Town: Experiences of a traveller

A recent report, “Cruise Liner Study for Southern Africa” commissioned by the National Cruise Liner Steering Committee notes that for Cape Town, the “immediate challenge is to improve visitor reception especially in the Table Bay Harbour and ensuring that smaller ships that are moored in the V&A Harbour receive a pleasant reception in the Mother City”. Future Cape Town has interviewed a cruise traveller to Cape Town to gather some information on the current state of visitor reception facilities which may help to contribute positively to this “immediate” challenge. Please note that all views expressed here are those of the Cruise Ship traveller.

Mark, has travelled to Cape Town twice and both times has arrived by sea. His first time in 2007 aboard Back Watch, which was docked in the V&A basin, which he describes as “brillliant” and “utterly marvellous” for smaller ships. His second, less impressive experience was disembarking from the massive QM at the Duncan Dock. According to Mark, “it sucks as a tourist spot!”.

I had one free day before disembarking and I enquired beforehand by e-mail to CT Port Authority if there was a shuttle to the V&A and he said “depends on the cruise line”. So I booked a tour instead because I couldn’t risk the hassle and it’s too far to walk anywhere. As for disembarkation, the “marquee” looks a bit Heath-Robinson but in fact it all worked fine for me and pre-clearance on board the day before meant that Customs were fairly non-existent. It was a bit chaotic outside the tent though, trying to find a taxi to get to my hotel, but even that wasn’t so bad really. All in all, it looked worse than it performed actually and I’ve experienced far, far worse in the USA in fact!


Disembarking is probably less of an issue; all you need is somewhere to organise and store the luggage for 3000 + passengers who want simply to be on their way.


I did not embark in Cape Town and would need to experience it to be a true guide but I would imagine that 3000+ passengers queueing in a hot tent with poor toilet facilities, no seating and no possible way of segregating the “gold” class passengers from the others (for speedy check-in etc.) it would probably be something close to a nightmare.

Disincentive for a cruise terminal?
The thing is, like all things these days, it comes down to money and shrewd politics. They want people to come to Cape Town but it is such an “exotic” and attractive destination that there is no problem getting people to join a ship that calls at or disembarks in Cape Town. And as I said already, disembarkation isn’t the problem. People intending on embarking a cruise in Cape Town will more than likely have flown in and spent a few days there already.

They will have to leave on the ship - by which time, the city has already got out of them all that they’re going to get! So what’s the incentive to spend millions on a new terminal building when the passengers will come already?

Lessons for IRT Airport Shuttle?

It’s (Airport Shuttle) a gesture, true - but personally speaking , someone checking-out of a hotel doesn’t want to have to man-handle their luggage half-way across town in order to catch the shuttle - or vice-versa on arrival. For example, in Vancouver, the dedicated shuttle bus runs every 20 minutes or so and does a circuit of all the main tourist hotels (as well as the Cruise Terminal) in-between shuttles to the Airport. It’s a busy service and a bit of a fight to get on sometimes but it’s a workable system that could be improved by just being more frequent at certain times of the day. In Cape Town, I believe that some of the outlying or better hotels provide shuttles of their own, so there may be conflicting issues of vested interests and difficulties getting hotel owners to participate in a scheme but it’s an idea I could favour.

In New York on the other hand, there is a one-stop shuttle service from Newark Airport to the central bus-station, so I can see where Cape Town have got the idea from but in New York, there are too many hotels and they are too far-flung to make a circuit route viable. Personally, I feel that perhaps the Cape Town City Fathers are using the wrong example?

Return cruise ship travellers

The only critical point comes when enough people have been already and would like to go back but they remember the bad memory of embarkation, and it puts them off. Although I am that passenger, I have not yet reached the point where I would be put off - wary maybe but perhaps it’s worth it?

Cape Town as a homeport?

When the cruise lines want to start seriously marketing cruises that commence in Cape Town on the big ships all year round instead of just a few stops in the winter, that’s when either Carnival or RCCL will sit down with the city fathers and lay their cards on the table; that’s when a terminal will be built. Until then, some proper toilets and a shuttle service to the V&A and the Airport would be a start!