Following five years of extensive renovations and refurbishment, ’75 on Plein’ was handed over to Truworths on Friday, the 12th of November 2021.
Located in the heart of Cape Town’s CBD, Plein Street is one of the Mother City’s most well-known boulevards. The Plein Park building was originally designed by KMH Architects in 1962 and it housed the old Department of Justice. Five decades later, KMH was re-appointed to give the old building a new lease on life by creating a modern and sleek aesthetic.
“What started out in 2016 as a relatively small project to design and execute the fit-out of two floors of the building for the Truworths’ call centre, turned into a major four-year project that saw the old brown and drab building from a forgotten era transformed into a sixteen-floor, state-of-the-art office block that has been renovated according to world-class facilities management and green building specifications”, commented Pieter Vlok, Senior Project Manager at Afroteq Advisory.
Truworths tasked Afroteq with managing the diverse team of professionals and contractors involved and to ensure that the renovated building was not only aligned to green building standards but, that best-in-class facilities management principles were also followed in the design, construction, and operation phases so that the building’s ongoing maintenance would be as cost effective and efficient as possible.
The extensive project included installing new services infrastructure (from the basement to the roof), including new HVAC systems, fire protection, and security upgrades; refurbishing the main entrance and lobby situated on the ground floor in Plein Street; renovating the 10th and 11th floors for Truworths’ call centre and completing white box preparation of the 12th and 16th floors for future tenants; installing a new lightweight structural steel extension of the 10th floor as well as a contemporary, wraparound curtain wall façade made from performance glass as prominent new features; installing a borehole water system and mechanism to recycle grey water to reduce water consumption; supporting a temperature-controlled environment with the use of blinds and shade controls, ventilation, and sun control with a bespoke, perforated metal façade.
“What an amazing journey this has been!”, commented Grant Young of Truworths at the official launch. “We are all incredibly excited and proud of how the project evolved and turned out. The way this team of professionals worked with each other, epitomises the Truworths philosophy of working in teams and forming powerful partnerships. Our sincere thanks and congratulations go to Afroteq Advisory, GVK Siya Zama Construction, KMH Architects, Bernard James & Partners as QS’s as well as consulting engineering firms, KFD Wilkinson, TRIOCON, and GIBB. Despite the many challenges they had to face along the way, each one of them worked tirelessly with passion, commitment, and dedication to deliver an excellent project safely, on time, and within budget”.
Before its completion, 75 on Plein attracted attention and won several industry awards for its building excellence, including being named the ‘Site of the Year’ in 2018, ‘SHEQ Construction Manager of the Year’ in 2018, successful ISO audits (9001, 14001 and 45001) and it was awarded second place in the MBA regional competition in 2019, achieving an average of 90% on internal audits and 95% on external audits as well as an impressive 0.6 LTIFR (lost time due to injuries on site) for more than 330 216 hours worked.
“We would like to thank Truworths for giving us the opportunity to manage the renovation project for them, and every professional team member who helped to successfully complete the project. It truly was an honour and a pleasure to work with such a diverse group of people with different areas of expertise, but with inexhaustible energy, commitment, and determination. We have created something magnificent that will bear testimony to this passion for many generations to come,” Pieter concluded.