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This was the last building on the reclaimed foreshore of Cape Town, of which Roy KANTOROWICH - born in 1917 and trained at Witwatersrand and as a planner in the USA was Chief Planning Officer. The office block was originally for the Chambers of Industries and Commerce, with banking facilities, conference centre, and club. The site was acquired by a private developer, with the basic requirements retained; but the conference hall became a cinema. It occupies a pivotal position of the city's expansion towards the sea. Its design was a conscious refutation of the International Style, and the architects adopted a regional-contextual language using local materials. Based on a grid of approximately two metres, the first three storeys were faced in constituted granite; the upper storeys of subdivisible offices were clad in facing bricks. The restricted window openings control light and heat in a generally non-air-conditioned building, and durable materials both inside and out proved eminently maintenance-free. Its pristine quality persists as a new direction in a local, non-derivative architecture.
(G Skacel in UIA, 1985: 61)
The building was generally known as the Broadway Building. Among other commercial functions it housed two cinemas, the Broadway and the Monte Carlo. The name Broadway does not appear anywhere on the building anymore. It currently (2022) houses the BMW Cape Town City dealership.
Reading the 1985 description by Skacel it would appear that the building has undergone a facade facelift and there have possibly been some internal alterations. The “look“ was modernised but the basic structure is still the same.
(Information from Lila Komnick, June 2022.)
These notes were last edited on 2022 06 02
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