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Refurbishment of former Imax building in V&A Waterfront

Aug 16 2016 17:29

Cape Town - Cape Town Construction Company, R+N Master Builders 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 the building into AAA grade office space and related parking for Zenprop Property Holdings.

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.

“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 seven metres. 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.

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 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,” says Daly.

“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,” adds Nicholls.

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