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Eric Tindale Building - Mfanasekhaya Gqobose Building
Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape

DENZIL LEVY, MUGGRIDGE AND BENAS: Architect

Date:c1965
Type:Offices with shops to street
Style:Modern
Status:Extant

 


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Coordinates:
33°57'25.79" S 25°37'02.72" E Alt: 17m

Eric Tindale Building (also now known as Mfanasekhaya Gqobose Building)

The 15 storey office block is probably the best known of Denzil Levy's buildings in the city. Built in the mid 1960's the building adopts the tower over a podium concept, similar to the four adjacent buildings. The building being the most northerly in the group of five tower blocks, all utilising the same concept. There was a planning requirement in place at the time for the provision of retail units and a walkway at first floor level. This was implemented all the way from the Russel Road corner to Hartman Street, but rather sadly was never a success.

The podium consists of the lower four floors, ground and first floors being retail and 3rd and 4th providing parking. Due to the change of level between Main Street (Govan Mbeki Ave) and Evatt Street, the parking is entered directly from street level, without the need for internal ramps.

The tower itself is basically a "T form" with the long faces curved, omitting the internal corners. The offices originally provided accommodation for the City Engineer's Department and the City Treasurer's Department.

The external finishes were all selected to be low maintenance. Glazed green tiles to the podium and curtain wall system to the offices.

Phil Kolbe designed and executed the bas-relief on the north facade, as well as the mosaic panels with in the double volume space in the entrance lift lobby.

(Gerald Humphrey, September 2017)