Plant Dome Planned for Cape Town CBD

Luthuli Plaza, in Cape Town’s CBD, is set to undergo a significant redesign at the hands of LOLA Architects and Design Indaba.

The plaza, named after South African Nobel Peace Prize winning struggle stalwart, Albert Luthuli, was built as a way of connecting the transport hub where people catch taxis, trains and busses to the Artscape precinct. But now the Luthuli Plaza stands gray and mostly unused.

Rotterdam-based landscape architect Peter Veenstra, in collaboration with bamboo builder Olav Bruin of Nomadic Resorts, is planning to revamp the plaza. The redesign will include an urban public garden that starts at the Cape Town taxi rank and ends at the Artscape Theatre. A Dome of Plants will form a centerpiece of the garden.

The dome is intended to serve as a beacon of sustainable design for the city, and be a functional venue where public forums, lectures, and performances can take place.

It will be constructed with natural materials such as bamboo, wood and fynbos plants like Spekboom which is known for its hardiness and ability to convert carbon dioxide into clean oxygen. Cape Town is in a water crisis, and Veenstra says the dome will be fed by purified urine from the bureaucrats working in the Cape Town Civic Centre building, right behind the dome’s proposed location.

Inside this vegetated shelter, there will be 175 square meters of indoor space, complete with amphitheatre-style seating, stage and podium. Together they offer space for discussions, events, workshops, exhibitions, meetings, lunch and a quick coffee outside the big institutions, accessible for everyone.

It is an attractive venue that can contribute to the cultural life of Cape Town. At night, the site will transform, casting a soft green glow on Luthuli Plaza. The designers aim to revitalize this part of Cape Town and bestow it with a meaningful purpose for citizens to enjoy throughout the year.

For more information on and pictures of the project, click here.


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Sources: [1], [2], [3]. Image sources: Design Indaba [1], [2].