The old Kents Building
The old Kents Building

Do you want an authentic Cape Town experience? Then go to the Muizenberg beachfront. It’s a great vibe!

The old Kents Building situated on the Muizenberg beachfront is directly adjacent to the railway line. The building dates back to 1915, with plans showing the construction of two additional floors in 1928.
The owner of the building, WJ Kent operated his drapers’ business on the ground floor, with the two upper floors serving as boarding rooms.
Currently, there is a restaurant and coffee shop, and a surf shop on the ground floor. The two upper floors are called “The Commons”, consisting of rentable rooms and a popular music venue.

I was approached by one of the tenants of the building, as they had transgressed and expanded their premises onto the pavement, which is the City of Cape Town’s property. My role is to reinstate the building to its original historical state and to ensure the building complies with fire and health safety regulations. As the principal architect, I ensure that the tenants are kept up to date with the proposals and progress. The old balcony was collapsing and had to be temporarily supported. The design of the new balcony was a challenge as it needs to be cantilevered off the existing structure, with minimal interference to the businesses operating in the building.
The coordination of the consultant team, which consists of a heritage practitioner, and structural, mechanical, and fire engineer forms part of my leadership role. The project is quite unusual as I have five clients: The City of Cape Town, the three tenants, as well as the building owner.

Located on the railway line side of the building, is the old Kent’s outfitters signage. During the construction stage, the signage will be reinstated to its original glory.

Location: Muizenberg beachfront