The Farber Building, one of the few extant examples of the Modern movement in architecture in Cape Town, is to be overwhelmed by an eighteen-storey plate-glass skyscraper. The developers had sought to have the 1935 building designed by Roberts & Small demolished, but the city fathers wisely refused permission. The price of its salvation, however, is that the boring skyscraper will piggy-back onto this actually rather inoffensive Modern structure.
What’s worse is that the massing of the new building is completely inappropriate to its site on the corner of Hans Strijdom-laan and Bree Street. As you can see in the final photo, it destroys the existing easy transition of structure heights and overwhelms the neighbouring space — though this will partly be “solved” when the open lot across Bree Street is developed as an equally dull office tower.
Needless to say, painting the clean white Modern building a dark grey is even more lamentable. Crap design and poor planning: Cape Town can do better!