The project originated as a direct result of the need for one of the major retailers in the Durbanville CBD to improve their retail offering. The existing Woolworths was not trading to the densities required due to lack of expansion opportunity and lack of enough convenience parking for their customers.

To satisfy this need a site was acquired in the center of the CBD by the developers. The site, bounded by Queen, Oxford and Wellington streets were ideally located to form the “heart” of a mixed-use development that would have as its aim to be no less than the primary destination in the area.


On an urban design level, the scheme was designed from the outset to not only provide accommodation for the targeted tenants but also to integrate itself with the existing CBD as a whole – and act as a destination focal point and anchor in the CBD.

To that end, a central square was designed to define the precinct and act as a pivot for the tenancies surrounding it. On a town scale, this central square was envisaged to act for the whole CBD as a new destination as well.

A few seemingly disparate requirements had to be accommodated within a cohesive whole :

  • The council urban planning required that the scheme adhere to a “perimeter block” concept to ensure that the streetside character of the existing CBD be reinforced and not diluted any further.
  • At the same time, the anchor tenant required a significant pocket of open parking in front of their entrance, in addition to the basement parking.
  • It was required that the scheme does not turn its back on any of the surrounding developments
  • Multi-level tenancies were required on the street facades to ensure and maintain a proper “street scale”
  • Existing historical structures had to be accommodated.

To ensure that these requirements were met the scheme was designed with a perimeter of commercial offices and retail facing Queen and Oxford streets. This created a “courtyard effect” that not only provided the proper street scale facade but also allowed for a pocket of parking to be created on the surface in front of the anchor tenant.

The central square is situated adjacent to this surface parking and to the side of the anchor tenant. This square was designed to be accessible via pedestrian links from both the Checkers and Shoprite developments thereby ensuring that the scheme is properly integrated with the rest of the CBD.

The square also forms the central point through which the scheme is accessed from below from the parking basements. Crucially these basements are also integrated with the open pocket of parking above, ensuring that should parking not be available above, the basements could be seamlessly accessed.

A restaurant was sourced to occupy the exiting historic house that was left untouched as part of the Queen street façade progression.

The square is envisaged as a people’s space that, with its cobbled streetscape, public art and planted seating pergola’s – will seek to become the place to see and be seen in the Durbanville CBD.

The scheme adheres rigidly to the flows and visibility inherent in good retail and office design on a commercial basis, whilst at the same time – through its urban planning and architecture – speaks to the more subtle and finer things in life that speak to the senses.

Cobbled streetscapes and lush landscape define the urban design and a fountain will enhance the square at its center.

The architecture, though contemporary and of this time, takes cognisance of the surrounding environment and is sympathetic to it in the streetscape character defined by its traditional window placements and proportions, covered walkways and shopfronts fronting the street. The contemporary nature is embellished by the use of visible steel components which is I-beams that turn into angle-iron structures where non-visible.

It is envisaged that this scheme will, through it’s aesthetic – visually, and its integrated and connected planning – practically, reinvigorate the Durbanville CBD

What is the purpose of the structure/ project?

Structural steel girders and trusses were used to support roof sheeting. Structural steel columns were used to support concrete walkways in the office wing. Exposed I-beams form the main entrance feature to WW.

Was the project envisaged in steel from the start? If not – why was it built in steel in the end?

Everything was envisaged from the start and driven by the architect’s design.

Give a brief description of the structural framing. What type of sections were used (e.g. hollow, cellular, I beams etc) and why?


Bottom & Top Chords:     90x90x8 angles, 120x120x8 angles, 80x80x6 angles,  90x90x6 angles

Diagonals:   60x60x4 angles, 60x60x6 angles

Purlins: 125x65x20x2.0 & 2.5 CFLC


Bottom & Top Chords:  203x203x71 T, 203x203x46 T,

                                          356x171x45 T

Diagonals:                         80x80x8 angles

Canopies:                          IPE aa200 Rafters with 60.3×2.5 CHS Strut bars

                                         100x50x20x2.0 CFLC Purlins

Roof over Lift:

Columns:                         203x203x46

Beams:                            254x146x31, 203x133x25, 457x191x67

Purlins:                             225x75x20x2.5 CFLC

Substructure:                   PC 100×50 & 125x75x20x2.0 CFLC (for Evalast cladding

Woolworths Portal:

Columns:                        457x191x67, 150x150x4.0 SHS

Beams:                            457x191x67, 305x102x25

Purlins:                            150x65x20x2.0 CFLC

Substructure:                  PC 100×50 & 125x75x20x2.0 CFLC (for Evalast cladding)

Cladding contractor interview:

What is special/ unusual/ innovative/ aesthetic about the steelwork/cladding in this project?

The WW entrance feature consists of a steel portal spanning 26,6 m. The portal was designed and built with a 40 mm upward precamber and appears perfectly straight after erection.

How did the project team work together (e.g. contractor involved early, challenges/ ease of communication etc.)

The project teamwork was excellent and presented no challenges.

Project motivation editorials are provided by the project nominator. If any technical details, company names or product names are incorrect, please notify the SAISC so that the error can be corrected.

Completion date of steelwork Retail (3) sections July/August 2108/ Offices October 2108
Completion date of full project 14 December 2018
Tons of structural steel used 325 tons
Structural profiles used Trusses:   Bottom & Top Chords:   90x90x8 angles, 120x120x8 angles, 80x80x6 angles, 90x90x6 angles Diagonals:           60x60x4 angles, 60x60x6 angles Purlins:                 125x65x20x2.0 & 2.5 CFLC   Girders:   Bottom & Top Chords:   203x203x71 T, 203x203x46 T, 356x171x45 T Diagonals:           80x80x8 angles   Canopies:   IPE aa200 Rafters with 60.3×2.5 CHS Strut bars 100x50x20x2.0 CFLC Purlins   Roof over Lift:   Columns:             203x203x46 Beams:                 254x146x31, 203x133x25, 457x191x67 Purlins:                 225x75x20x2.5 CFLC Substructure:    PC 100×50 & 125x75x20x2.0 CFLC (for Everlast cladding)   Woolworths Portal:   Columns:             457x191x67, 150x150x4.0 SHS Beams:                 457x191x67, 305x102x25 Purlins:                 150x65x20x2.0 CFLC Substructure:    PC 100×50 & 125x75x20x2.0 CFLC (for Everlast cladding)  

Span of trusses and Kg/m2 (if applicable) 26m Maximum

Completion date of cladding Retail (3) sections September 2108/ Offices November 2108
Cladding profile/ type used Saflok 700
Cladding area/ coverage and tonnage 8230sq.m

Nominator Safintra
Client/ Developer Sanlam Properties
Architect JLDesign/Chameleon JV
Structural Engineer Ekcon
Quantity Surveyor MLC
Project Manager MDSA
Main Contractor Isipani Construction
Steelwork Contractor Triomf Steel
Steel Erector Triomf Steel
Cladding Manufacturer Safintra
Cladding Supplier Safintra
Cladding Contractor Scheltema Roofing


If you were a part of this project, and your company details are incorrect or missing – please notify the SAISC so that the error can be corrected.