Penguin beach visitors' centre revamped for R1.7m in empowerment contract SIYA ZAMA.

Posted On Saturday, 22 February 2003 10:01 Published by
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The affirmative action building contractor associated with Gordon Verhoef and Krause, recently completed a R1.7 million contract for the refurbishment and extension of the Visitors' Centre at Foxy and Boulders beaches.

The affirmative action building contractor associated with Gordon Verhoef and Krause, recently completed a R1.7 million contract for the refurbishment and extension of the Visitors' Centre at Foxy and Boulders beaches, close to Seaforth, just south of Simon's Town.

This small building, approached by a pedestrian walkway from the bottom of Kleintuin Road, attracts 3 000 visitors a day at the height of the holiday season, and at least half are from overseas.

The big attraction is the colony of about 1 000 African Penguins, formerly known as Jackass Penguins.

At the start of the 19th century there were over a million of these penguins worldwide but their numbers dwindled through loss of habitat and increase in predators, like dogs and humans, and now only 150 000 survive.

At Foxy Beach the Parks Board has protected the penguins and, as a result, they are surprisingly tame. Visitors can view them at close quarters from two boardwalks.

Parks commissioned architect Piet Louw to upgrade the centre and make it worthy of its international status.

The existing slate-roof building was converted into two interpretation centres, one a windowless audiovisual room, and a large curved entrance forecourt with a shaded turnstile area, a toilet block, a viewing terrace where visitors may look out across False Bay, and a staff area.

The terrace links up with the boardwalks. No tearoom is necessary as the nearby Seaforth Beach has an excellent facility. At Boulders Beach Siya Zama built a small entrance kiosk.

Piet Louw has ensured that the building is inconspicuous and blends in with the massive grey boulders, blue sea and green vegetation of the coastline.

Certain walls have been given natural boulder-like curves and the roof of the toilet block has been sloped upwards to provide wind protection to the entrance area.

The colour scheme makes use of the Park Board's environmentally friendly white, cream, ivory, black and forest green corporate colours, in muted tones.

The walls are rough plastered but the columns are smooth off-the- shutter concrete and have been left their natural grey colour. The terraces are paved in cobbles.

Piet Louw paid tribute to Siya Zama's dedication and enthusiasm. 'This is a team with self-respect,' he said. 'They really do take a pride in their work.'


Publisher: Weekend Argus
Source: Weekend Argus

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