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© Dave Southwood
© Heinrich Wolff
© Christian Schittich
© Dave Southwood
© Dave Southwood
© Dave Southwood
© Dave Southwood
© Christian Schittich
© Christian Schittich
In recent years the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, a leisure and restaurant district in Cape Town’s 123-hectare former port and wharf zone, has become one of South Africa’s most highly frequented tourist attractions.

Situated in these environs is a two-bay industrial shed, the former electricians’ workshops of the adjacent dry dock. The client selected the Watershed for conversion: their brief stipulated an educational facility whose aim is to stimulate small business development, to be equipped with co-working spaces and meeting rooms. The centre should become a place where people interact, and where innovation and economic growth are fostered.

Based on this idea Wolff Architects developed a concept bringing together different functions under one roof: their focus was not just on upgrading the urban space, but also on less tangible social aspects. The result is a publicly accessible space, protected from sun, wind and rain, with a market square, shops and flexible workshop areas, as well as offices, cafés and exhibition spaces.