The Workshop Office Plaza

Inner City Renewal Through New Signature Projects

The Workshop precinct is governed by city heritage conditions, which preserve the old Durban Station area and the industrial buildings that supported it. As in many cities, these preservation policies sometimes limit reinvestment and new developments and need to be implemented within a broader master plan to encourage growth.

What used to be known as Central Park is now Gugu Dlamini Park. An Aids memorial environment is the spatial organising mechanism of the precinct. This includes the future, new Durban Library, Museum, existing Exhibition Centre and ICC complex. The proposed site is situated on the opposite side of the Workshop retail complex and articulates the park. The design raises the new building so that the park spatially continues below the new commercial envelope, creating a plaza threshold between the park and beyond.

The form of the new development is kept a simple rectangular box but encourages visual drama due to the exposed matrix structure used to prevent the form from appearing too “inert”. The enticed sense of movement draws users into the plaza and the soft edges of the park. In so doing, the commercial space is a pavilion that is strongly integrated into the park while still directional and focused on its street edge ownership and sense of arrival.



R 250,000,000




Durban, South Africa