The first phase of an urban renewal project designed to bring the communities of Plettenberg Bay, Kwanokuthula and New Horizons together kicked off with the construction of the Plettenberg Bay Magistrates Court, which is now nearing completion. The building, together with a public library and others still to be built, will provide these communities with a central civic complex called the New Horizons Precinct.
Since October 2015, GVK-Siya Zama, have been bringing architect, Barry Kok’s vision to life. The Principal Architect at and Owner of B2 Architects, says that the building – a concrete-framed, four-storey structure enveloped by a glazed curtain wall – turns its back on the N2 highway and faces the community it serves, with its large, multi-volume entrance portal inviting them in.
The Department of Justice and Correctional Services’ brief was that they wanted it to be a ‘contemporary expression’.This contemporary façade hides a very complex internal layout that accommodates four criminal courts, two regional courts, two civil courts, as well as a family and children’s court, along with a public parking basement, staff parking, 17 detainee cells and magistrate offices.
Kok says: “GVK-Siya Zama’s attitude has been one of accommodation, understanding and trying to bring forward the vision that I originally had, as opposed to cutting corners or imparting their own ideas. They asked a lot of questions to understand what my vision was so they could interpret it correctly.”
He adds: “I believe that the client is quite taken with the building and the Bitou Municipal Council has been very complimentary.”
Ricci Davidoff, the Principal Agent on the project, shares: “The Plett Magistrates Court is a beautiful building and I think that it will become a landmark in the area. It has a touch of class and is an exquisitely put together piece of architecture.”GVK-Siya Zama Senior Contracts Manager, Jaco Kotze, says that the general feedback has been extremely positive and all parties seem impressed and excited for the building to become operational.
“The 312 labourers from the local community who were employed on the project since commencement, together with local contractors and suppliers, can be extremely proud of the parts they all played in the successful delivery of the project.”