Refurbishment of the V&A Waterfront’s Pavilion building completed

Cape Town Construction Company, R+N Master Builders, have been operating in the greater Cape Town area for the past 68 years. Well-known for their craftsmanship and quality construction, R+N has completed the extensive refurbishment and tenant fit-out of the V&A Waterfront’s Pavilion building, which previously housed the old IMAX Theatre. This project transformed this iconic building into AAA grade office space and related parking for Zenprop Property Holdings.

“We realized that this was going to be a challenging project and based on previous experience with R&N we knew that they were the best suited contractors for the project,” says Elbert de Kock, Director of Zenprop. “We therefore decided to negotiate with R&N instead of putting the contract out to tender. Their meticulous planning and attention to detail paid dividends as the project finished on time with exceptional quality and within budget. A very difficult and demanding project, well planned and executed.”

Mike Duncan of Morta Project Management, the independent Project Manager appointed by Zenprop to coordinate and oversee the entire project, explains that the challenge of major structural demolition, combined with new structural work in confined spaces within a tenanted building, was met with a very experienced and ever present site management team, headed by Chris Daly, senior Contracts-Manager for R+N. “Their commitment and attention to detail ensured that Works Completion was achieved within one month of Practical Completion – truly a great achievement! R+N’s collaborative approach assisted the professional team to complete the documentation timeously, and their positive attitude to Health and Safety on a dangerous site was exemplary. Their word is their bond, their delivery is beyond expectation.”

Complex alterations

“The Pavilion project was an exciting and challenging combination of new construction, complex alterations and tenant fit-outs. Redeveloping the old IMAX Theatre building involved temporarily maintaining the 3-storey projection room and part of the main roof, while demolishing the steep inclined seating levels, as well as, a bulk excavation of over 7m. In order to meet this requirement, large demolition machines were used inside the building with the added challenge of very limited access heights,” explains Shay Nicholls, Director of R+N.

New construction

Within the void created, R+N constructed four new floors, linking two existing levels of parking and creating two new levels of office space. A new first floor main entrance was built on Beach road, giving multiple user access points to the building.

The professional team managed to seamlessly align the existing IMAX building and incorporate it with the new glass façade line on Beach Road. This new façade had to be systematically constructed to transfer the roof load from the old to the new facade.

Concurrently, a new structure was being erected using a stepped system of raking beams and cantilever slabs, with all elements tying into the existing building.

“The project presented many challenges, not least of which was the busy traffic and public walkway situated on the corner of Portswood and Beach Roads, one of the primary Waterfront entrances. Managing major demolition and construction without disrupting the flow of traffic and creating a safe environment for pedestrians within a narrow road boundary was carried out successfully, due to R+N’s extensive experience in this field. An added challenge was that throughout the building process Zenprop’s offices remained operational,” notes Daly.

Tenant fit-out

“By concurrently commencing the tenant fit-outs prior to the completion of the construction stage, the tenants were able to occupy sooner. R+N’s extensive programming experience in this field allowed the Developer to realise an earlier income stream,” concludes Nicholls.