Situated in the suburb of Salt River, Swift Studios presented an interesting opportunity for Two Five Five Architects. The question of how to best ‘marry’ the different contextual elements of the area was at the forefront of their design.
Project Name: Swift Studios
Studio Name: Two Five Five Architects
Taking into account the rich multicultural environment alongside the suburbs’ unpretentious and gritty industrial nature, Two Five Five architects adopted a design that would lend itself to a more raw and industrial feel supported by more edgy and younger finishes.
The existing structure on the site was a combination of an old industrial warehouse and a couple of dilapidated structures. We opted to keep the main structure from the old warehouse. With the redevelopment of the warehouse structure, an interesting combination of old and new has been achieved.
The 16 open studio flats were designed in such a way as to give the buyer an option to convert the flat into a one- or two bedroom configuration should it be required. This has been a great value add as it affords the buyer the freedom of ‘functionality’ – changing the space to suit various needs, whilst not having to worry about changing the look and feel of the flat.
Inside the flat, the focus was to maintain a textured and smooth finish in both the kitchen and bathroom. Along with deep textured wall finishes and exposed galvanised steel electrical conduits, a wonderful balance between the ‘raw’ and ‘refined’ aspects were achieved.
One of the key features of Swift Studios is the outdoor deck garden on the first floor – adorned with benches and greenery, it creates a communal pause space for residents. The open plan and see-through ends of the garden creates a visible connection with the surrounding cityscape, fostering the experience of connectedness – a valuable sentiment in city life. The garden also serves as an ingenious way in which to hide the car parking area below.
As Swift Studios is situated on a busy interchange, with loads of pedestrian traffic passing by from the Salt River train station, Two Five Five Architects recognised the opportunity to create both retail and office spaces on the Ground Floor of the building. These spaces would help to interact with, serve and grow the foot traffic that is already there, creating an economic opportunity for small business. This type of initiative is also in line with the City of Cape Town’s encouragement of street interaction, as this enhances security and accountability. The retail area presently houses a laundromat, which serves Swift Studios and the larger Salt River community. Alongside this, it also accommodates a photography studio and creative agency.
Two Five Five Architects worked hand in hand with Dawie Swart and Helene Steyl from the developer Investicore Holdings to ensure that Swift Studios were designed for it’s market segment, making it an attractive property to buy, whilst not losing any of the Salt River ‘flavour’.