Robert Silke , director of Robert Silke & Partners, are architects of the preferred bid for Cape Town’s abandoned Foreshore Freeways tender. He talks to John Maytham about the project.
He explains that the problem put to tender was to take the land that had been allocated since the 1970s to complete the Foreshore freeways and to complete the freeways at little or no cost to the city, solve the city's affordable housing problem, and find land remaining to develop.
The space was so limited that he says most of the bidders solved the problem by proposing to demolish the freeways.
Our scheme distinguished itself by keeping the freeways.— Robert Silke , director of Robert Silke & Partners
He says they found the original engineers who designed the freeways.
We came up with a way to create some very tall, spindly very elegant very beautiful towers that would have had commercial housing that could be sold off to pay for the freeways. And then also produce 450 - and could have gone up to 1000 - affordable housing units.— Robert Silke , director of Robert Silke & Partners
Tall, thin building lend themselves to housing and he says Cape Town has a housing shortage for both rich and poor.
He says the affordable housing fell into the State's definition and would be truly affordable.
There was mixed-use space planned for the ground level with shops.
He says the project addressed spatial apartheid and is disappointed the project has been halted.
Listen to the interview below: