Things To Do in Cape Town CentralSelf-tour Art Deco Architecture
Where? City Centre, Cape Town
When? Daylight hours for good visibilty.
How much? Free
The Central Business District (CBD) of Cape Town city is a gallery of architectural achievement. South African angles of symmetry in design constructed buildings of historic elegance. The 1920 - 1930 Modernity movement layered storey upon storey of Art Nouveau rebellion to Cape Town streets. Defined by geometric forms these declared urban icons hold once futuristic expressions of disappeared decades.
The Mutual Heights building on the corner of Darling and Parliament Streets was raised in a shared era with New York's Chrysler and Empire State Buildings. Once a corporate headquarters to Old Mutual it serves now as a residential collection of private apartments. Skilled workmanship and opulent budgets brought magnificent materials to interior and exterior details. Triangular widows project out from a famed façade. Relief carvings and figurines are dramatic relics as is the blackened double volume entrance foyer. Once the tallest building in Africa it still observes pristine status in its design category. Mirroring it's effect The Old Post Office on the opposite corner seals slow mail memories with granite charm.
Impassioned arches of The Old Provincial Administration Building separate it's proud presence from the Company Gardens and St. Georges Cathedral. Linking Keerom and Wale Streets pedestrians partake in solid and simplistic structures and shaping. Greenmarket Square scenery shows a stained glass African sun on the upper Art Deco floors of The Old Protea Assurance Building on the corner of Longmarket Street and St Georges Mall.
Adjacent stands Market House, powerful in verticality and ornate in decoration. Art Deco shop frontage is seen on site at Mullers Optometrists as a vision of preserved Art Deco textures untouched at the corner of Parliament and Longmarket Streets. Cladding in shiny metal contrasts black lead glass windows mimicking jewellery boxes. These geometrically patterned National Heritage Sites protrude into the city's constructed framework as grand design gestures.