The primary objectives of the re-development of the old Standard Bank towers on the Foreshore in Cape Town were additional parking and a facelift for the existing towers to create a modern building with integrated façade lighting and an engaging open space for the public.
In their design, the architects incorporated a series of fins onto each façade to act as shading mechanisms, define the horizontal façade lines and create various ‘facade images’. The configurations of the fins on each façade were conceptualised by the topographical features facing them, i.e. Lion’s Head, the Peninsula, Robben Island and Table Mountain. These images are emphasised at night.
The façade lighting solution, developed by QDP Lighting & Electrical Design, was to use low wattage LED strip lights, mounted into aluminium channels clipped onto the edge of each ‘image-depicting’ fin. The fins were designed to accommodate the LED channels and provide integral wireways to LED strips further along each fin. The ‘clip-in’ installation method of the strips allows them to be replaced easily if required. The power supplies that feed the strips are housed remotely within the central lobbies on each floor of the building. The result of the installation is a high impact, low energy design with minimal spill light.
The public open space at the main entrance was to be vibrant and inviting, whilst ‘reinforcing’ the linear feel of the various facades. The lighting design was limited to various pockets or areas of use, with the balance of circulation spaces relying on spill light from surrounding areas. With the exception of a few fittings, all the lighting elements in this area were also LED. The combination of warm white, visible, vertical linear LED elements and concealed LEDs under stairs and timber decks creates a sufficiently lit space for evening use, which successfully acknowledges the design intention.
This vibrant public space is enclosed at high level, with a canopy/‘eyebrow’ that embraces the space. As a slight contrast, cool white LEDs have been used on the eyebrow to define it above the warmly lit public space and to allow visitors to read the two very different elements at night.
The building and image-depicting facades are clearly visible at night and from every main freeway into the CBD. People are drawn into the public open space, and it is a hive of activity from morning until late at night, with a combination of striking and subtle lighting effects complementing the vibrant activities and the overall lighting design.