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    Construction begins on The Fynbos

    Construction has begun on Cape Town’s – and Africa’s – first-ever biophilic building – The Fynbos.
    Image supplied
    Image supplied

    Biophilic buildings blur the lines between nature and the built environment - incorporating elements inspired by our natural surroundings into their design to create spaces that mimic nature, and help to improve the quality of life for inhabitants and users. They also embrace sustainable building practices to the highest degree, meaning reduced energy consumption and carbon emissions.

    Once completed, The Fynbos promises to stand as a poster child for biophilic building design and will become an icon in Cape Town’s skyline. This innovative mixed-use building will stand 24 storeys high on Upper Bree Street in Cape Town’s CBD, and will feature 689 apartments, a rooftop sunset terrace with a lap pool and co-working space, a rooftop fitness centre, as well as a ground-floor plant-based restaurant, a tearoom, and a botanical bar.

    Added to this, The Fynbos will also boast a waterfall at the front reception of the building, which will be the starting point of a unique water feature which will run from Buitengracht to Bree Street.

    Undoubtedly, one of the most exceptional biophilic design features at The Fynbos will be its exterior, which will be draped in a 1200m2 vertical garden made up of 30 species of indigenous trees and 20 species of indigenous shrubs. The pioneering garden system at The Fynbos was designed by a specialist team of botanists and will be monitored by a highly technical water and nutrient system with automated root scanners, monitored water content and drainage, as well as “flying” gardeners who will manage maintenance externally.

    Biophilic buildings set to become the future of inner city living

    The announcement made by the developers of The Fynbos, Lurra Capital, that they would be constructing this vanguard building in Cape Town has been met with great excitement and enthusiasm as it heralds the beginning of a new era for South African and African building design, and the future of inner city living.

    According to Lurra Capital biophilic buildings are considered the way forward for modern living as they offer a host of benefits, and have the potential to transform concrete jungles into vibrant and sustainable spaces that prioritize the well-being of residents.

    “Included in these benefits is connecting people to nature in an urban environment – which has been shown to improve mental health, reduce stress, enhance productivity and creativity, and increase overall well-being.”

    “Air quality is also improved through the abundant vegetation, which helps filter pollutants, and reduces carbon dioxide levels. Biophilic buildings often include communal areas such as rooftop gardens or courtyard areas, and these spaced allow residents to connect, fostering a sense of belonging and improving social well-being.”

    “Basically, biophilic buildings offer a promising future for inner city living by creating healthier, more sustainable, and community-focused urban environments that prioritize human well-being and allow individuals to maintain a vital connection with nature,” says Lurra Capital.

    Sustainable building solutions

    According to development managers Gardner Property Solutions, who are working with Lurra Capital in the development of the Fynbos building, some of the sustainable building solutions that will be incorporated into the building include water efficiency through low-flow fittings, well-point filtration, and a sophisticated rainwater harvesting system which will be integrated into the unique cantilevered and staggered balcony design.

    Integrated PV solar panels will generate double the electricity quota needed to power the common areas, minimising fossil fuel consumption, and a central heated water system allows for economies of scale and avoids individual geysers.

    Expansive windows and glass sliding doors utilising specialised double glazing will allow in abundant natural light. And the double glazing reduces the amount of energy spent on heating in winter and acts as a sound softener.

    “The Fynbos stands as a pioneering testament to sustainable architecture,” says Keagan James of DG Properties, sales agent for The Fynbos. “This innovative project has garnered much local and international attention for its groundbreaking approach. The incorporation of green spaces, natural light, and eco-friendly materials not only contributes to the local environment but also serves as a magnet for local and foreign investors eager to support and be part of a project that epitomizes the harmonious coexistence of modern living and nature in the heart of Cape Town.”

    “We are seeing robust interest in The Fynbos,” explains Keith Anderson of DG Properties. “In the last six months, we have enjoyed a steady flow of sales from buyers who are wholeheartedly embracing the arrival of biophilic design to our shores.”

    “Demand at The Fynbos is strong - despite Cape Town having gone through a particularly bleak winter, coupled with the 11,75% interest rate hike - and we anticipate sales to soar now that construction has begun and the building starts to take shape. The Fynbos will become a destination building of the future and a must-see for visitors to Cape Town.”

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