Trio Of Cape Town Architects Appointed To Lead The Expansion Of The CTICC

"Architects for the Cape Town International Convention Centre expansion project get down to work, says Toefy" 

The Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) today announced the appointment of the design architects for the expansion project, which will see the centre doubling in capacity over the next three years. 

CTICC Chief Executive Officer Rashid Toefy announced that an award-winning Cape Town trio of architects - Piet Bakker of Stauch Voster Architects, Anya van der Merwe of Van der Merwe Miszewski Architects and Mokena Makeka of Makeka Design Lab - have been awarded the contract for the design of the new expansion of the convention centre. 

"It is the goal of the CTICC to be the best long-haul international convention centre by 2020 and this exciting expansion project and the calibre of architects who have been appointed to lead the process, are essential to achieving this goal," Toefy told the media at a briefing on Thursday morning.

As a municipal entity majority owned by the City and Province, the appointment was made after a thorough open public tender process in line with the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA). An independent international and local advisory panel was convened to assist in the selection process and ensure the right team was chosen for this critical role. 

A total of 19 tenders were received, including submissions from overseas representatives, of which five were shortlisted to present their concept and design. The winning architectural team was selected according to the requirements of the MFMA. 

"We are looking forward to the positive impact this project will have on the marketability of the Western Cape and South Africa as a year-round business and leisure destination," said Toefy. 

Toefy said the expansion was set to create an iconic convention centre within the redeveloped Foreshore precinct, which would comprise 10 000 square metres of retail space, a hospital, hotel and an office tower. It would also contribute to the regeneration of Founder's Garden by the Province, which will connect the Artscape precinct with the new, larger CTICC. 

The expansion is the final catalyst in the regeneration of the Foreshore as the business hub of the central city, and will go some way to helping Cape Town absorb some of its additional hotel bed capacity. 

The extension will primarily add flexible multi-purpose exhibition space to the centre, in line with international trends. "The increased centre will not only create much needed capacity for larger events that we've not been able to accommodate to date, but it will also allow multiple large events to be hosted at the CTICC simultaneously. Both outcomes are in line with the needs of local and international meeting and event organisers." 

The winning architects were also given an opportunity to showcase their design to the media in a multimedia presentation. Design criteria included the integration of environmental, social and economic sustainability in the design and the creation of exceptional client and guest experiences. The design also had to adhere to strict budgetary and spatial guidelines. 

Bakker explained the partnership established by the three architects in order to enter the bidding process together and Makeka explained the concept for the design, based on the theme of DNA Identity and the Cape Floral Kingdom, while Van der Merwe spoke to the technical design. 

Bakker, Makeka and Van der Merwe joined forces to provide Convenco with an opportunity to appoint an internationally recognised local design team to design and deliver the expansion project during the year in which Cape Town would be World Design Capital, Bakker said. 

Mokeka said the architectural concept was entitled "6211". This is a design interpretation of the globally unique biodiversity of the Cape Floristic Kingdom. "Using the DNA code of the 6210 plant species endemic to the Cape Floristic kingdom plus one dedicated to humanity, 6211 transforms the convention centre into an iconic living artwork that celebrates and raises awareness about humanity and nature for the passive enjoyment of local and global audiences," Makeka said. 

Van der Merwe said the new buildings are designed as a seamless extension of the CTICC to provide complementary space for large exhibitions or conferences, whilst also being able to operate as an independent facility. 

Toefy says the CTICC's core mandate is to contribute to economic growth and job creation in the province through attracting international meetings and events to Cape Town and South Africa. 

Since opening its doors in 2003, the centre has contributed to the creation of more than 60 000 direct and indirect jobs and has played a pivotal role in raising the profile of Cape Town and the Western Cape as a leading, globally competitive meetings destination. The expansion is likely to increase the number of direct and indirect jobs created by the centre from about 7 000 to about over 10 000 per annum by 2018, Toefy said. 

Highlighting the economic benefits of a larger CTICC, Western Cape MEC for Economic Development and Tourism Alan Winde said: "As part owner of the CTICC, the Western Cape Government is delighted that it is to be expanded. The CTICC plays host to events such as the Cape Town Jazz Festival, Design Indaba and others - events that bring hordes of local and international tourists to Cape Town and the Western Cape. The expansion of the CTICC means that there is space for even more tourists. More tourists mean more economic growth and more opportunities for employment for the citizens of the Western Cape."

Said Toefy: "Convention and exhibition spaces like the CTICC are our modern day cathedrals or city halls - this is where we go to meet, learn and be inspired. And we are confident this new space will be an iconic meeting place on the African continent."

Toefy said the next step in the process is the appointment of Quantity Surveyors and Project Managers. Over the next three months, the CTICC will also start engaging with users, suppliers and the public for comment, and it is anticipated to have a spade in the ground in approximately one year. Construction is expected to take place between 2013 and 2015. 

Unpacking the financial approval process for the expansion, Alderman Ian Neilson, Executive Deputy Mayor of Cape Town and Mayoral Committee member for Finance said: "After receiving the motivation of the Convenco Board for the expansion of the CTICC, the City Council, as the major shareholder, decided in March 2011 to commit to the project. In order to unlock the obstacles to allow the project to proceed, the City committed to providing its land in the precinct and to purchasing additional land as well as guaranteeing adequate funding."

"It is gratifying that the Council's initiative has enabled the project to get to this stage. We look forward to the finalisation of all contracts and the start of construction so that the City's objectives of job creation and economic growth can be realised," Neilson said.