Cape Town Society for the Blind
The new building is part of a long term re-development plan envisaged by the Cape Town Society for the Blind to expand existing skills training facilities for the visually impaired and promote a public image that is more accessible to visitors and facilities interaction between the crafters and public. Alterations, additions and selective demolition were integral to the brief.
The new building is located within the exiting premises of the Society, occupying a central courtyard and replacing the inappropriate previous structures.
Alterations to the existing administration building rationalized portions of the interior and improved accessibility. The craft workshop provided an industrial style, double volume shed-like structure making reference to the industrial fabric of Salt River and traditional closed market places. Individual workshop spaces are arranged in a clear and regular grid and allow for individual creative space.
To be visually impaired results in a particular way of navigating a building, of which is required a spatial order that is evident. A straight forward and continuous circulation path is here differentiated from working areas through surface treatment. This also allows quick access to and from the surrounding existing buildings. Similarly scale models assisted in developing the designs with the clients.
Future plans include further interior improvements and enhancing the building interface to Salt River Road.