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Commercial Union Building - Market House
Central, Cape Town, Western Cape

William Hood GRANT: Architect

Street:Greenmarket Square


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33°55'22.54" S 18°25'14.05" E Alt: 34m

Cumming-George 1933

THE new building for the Commercial Union Assurance Co., Ltd., is one of the latest of Cape Town's imposing modern buildings.

Counting the basement, the building consists of ten storeys having frontages on three streets, a factor which makes it possible to light each floor extremely well. Above the ground floor, a perpendicular treatment has been followed and carried through without a break to the tine decorative modern stonework at the top of the building, this stonework being in precast stone.

The main entrance hall is walled with Travertine stone and has a lofty groined dome and the floor is finished in golden tone mosaic. Black marble skirtings and bands, together with the bronze and plate glass screens between this and the banking hall, make this entrance very imposing.

The shop fronts on the Greenmarket Square side show the same finish as the entrance hall, with deeply set glazed doors, allowing a wide expanse of window space for display.

In the Company's own offices, much use has been made of laminated woods with very beautiful effects, particularly in the Board Room where panelling and furnishings are of a very high standard.

(AB&E Sep 1932:3, 4, 6;SAB Feb 1933:21)

All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

Writings about this entry

Cumming-George, L. 1933. Architecture in South Africa - Volume One. Cape Town: The Speciality Press of S.A. Ltd.. pg 97 ill
Rennie, John for CPIA. 1978. The Buildings of Central Cape Town 1978. Volume Two : Catalogue. Cape Town: Cape Provincial Institute of Architects. pg 142 item 56.5