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Taj Cape Town
Taj Cape Town Hotel captures the history and spirit of Cape Town’s inner city with all the opulence and exoticism of the East.
Client
Taj Hotels Resorts Palaces Safaris
Category
Interiors
  • Project launched in 2010
  • Full scope interior design
  • Design philosophy to create an interior of refinement and elegance within the masculine architecture
An elegant structure, synthesising the historic Reserve Bank building, and a modern tower. Carefully blending the legacy of a bygone era with the luxury of the new.

Located within the historic and civic heart of the city, the Taj Cape Town is surrounded by significant historic buildings including the Houses of Parliament, St George’s Cathedral, Rhodes Building (designed by Sir Herbert Baker) and Heritage House. The hotel site originally had three buildings on it - the old Reserve Bank, the Temple Chambers, and a modern building, originally built in the 1950s which had been substantially altered over time.

The old Reserve Bank Building was designed by renowned Cape Town architect James Morris and was completed in 1932. Inspired by the Palazzo Pitti in Florence, the building has wonderful exterior architecture with street facades, constructed of Paarl Granite that has been heavily rusticated on the lower levels, designed to symbolise the financial strength and stability of the Reserve Bank. The front gates, window grilles and front doors are constructed of beautifully detailed bronze.

The Temple Chambers dates back to 1896. Originally housing the chambers for the Supreme Court Barristers, it was significantly altered in the late 1920s and has had some more minor alterations at later dates.

The unique character of the building demanded a particular approach. Two new design philosophies were specially created for this exceptional project.

Throughout JPA’s conversion of these buildings we strove to remain as faithful as possible to the original character of the buildings interior spaces while keeping interventions to a minimum.

  • Every effort was made to remain faithful to the style and fabric of the spaces, maintaining and restoring as many of the key rooms as possible to their original appearance.
  • The new tower is contemporary but by using sympathetic materials, such as limestone, alongside more modern materials, like steel and glass, we were able to create a delicate layered façade that maintains the textural language of the older buildings, and the city itself.
Considered details.

Public areas and guestrooms located in the heritage areas of the hotel provide a grand ambiance of tradition and wealth, while the interior architecture continues the neoclassical detailing of the existing building. In contrast the public areas and guestrooms in the new Towers areas of the hotel provide a contemporary response to the same heritage through the seamless blending of the materials, finishes and detailing.

The perfect balance between two different worlds.

The interior of the Reserve Bank building is richly detailed and contains many beautiful spaces, the most noteworthy of which is the old banking hall. This space, with its beautifully detailed barrel vaulted skylight supported by four Portuguese Skyros marble columns, is a natural focal point within the building and is now the hotel lobby.

With its blend of heritage buildings and the ‘modern tower’, the Taj Cape Town is a unique reflection of the urban synthesis within Cape Town – merging two historically significant buildings and their architecture with the newer tower in a complimentary fashion to maintain an architecture of delicacy and human scale, while still speaking to the purpose of the building as a ‘place occupied by people’.

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