Bonteheuwel Town Centre Upgrade

designed by + /

Location: South Africa / Type: Squares and Plazas / Streets / Built: 2023 /
Show on Google Maps / Published on March 13, 2024

The primary goal of the Bonteheuwel Town Centre Upgrade was to transform Freedom Square into a multifunctional and inclusive space that serves the needs of the community. Key objectives included: Creating a comfortable and secure gathering space for the community to engage in various activities; Improving entrances, exits, routes, and parking areas for enhanced accessibility and convenience; Designing the space to accommodate markets, events, performances, playgrounds, and memory preservation; Serving as a catalyst for initiatives such as gardening, community security, fitness paths, open hoods, and clean-up efforts; Incorporating historical elements like the Old Library Staircase and existing trees into the design; and implementing sustainable landscaping with indigenous trees and plants to create microclimates and enhance the environment.

The project’s concept and early design and public participation process was initially done by Tarna Klitzner Landscape Architects, and further detail development up to construction phase by Terra+ Landscape Architects. There were interesting changes additions and deletions of the design to finally have a  design which maintains a cohesive language throughout the space, including a well-thought-out paving scheme that guides visitors from the Library’s entrance through the site, connecting different areas and functions. The Old Library Staircase, with significant heritage value, and existing trees were preserved, and over sixty indigenous trees and various hardy plant species were integrated.

Art plays a crucial role in the project’s identity. Local artist Lorenzo Nassimbeni facilitated workshops with children to create art pieces embedded in the flooring of the central oval gathering space. These art pieces radiate from the center and extend to a security screen for the Library. Two murals on adjacent building walls were also created under Lorenzo’s guidance by local artists. The art elements extend to the playground, with painted stepping stones showcasing the project’s yellow, blue, and red colour palette.

Project Data

Landscape Architects – Terra+ Landscape Architects; TKLA (inception and concept development)

Other designers involved in the design of the landscape:

Information/Project team
Contractor & subcontractors:
Consulting Engineers – HHO Consulting Engineers
Landscape Contractor – Diges construction
Townplanner – City of Cape Town
Urban designer – Bronwen Jillings (City of Cape Town)

Artists & other contributing professionals:
Main artist – Lorenzo Nassimbeni
Contributing artist – Shuanez Benting

Major suppliers
Paving – Corobrik & C.E.L Paving Products
Trees – Various
Playground materials – The Pole Yard and other suppliers

Project location: Cape Town, South Africa

Year completed: October 2023

Photo credits: David Savage – Southland Photography

Manufacturer of urban or play equipment: Urban Play elements designed by LA (Terra+ Landscape Architects) and materials supplied by Poleyard and other suppliers

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