Wanted: a new face for Cape Town’s landmark media building

Media24 launches design competition to rejuvenate the façade of its 26-storey head office, Naspers Centre, on Cape Town’s Foreshore

Media24 is partnering with Cape Town Design NPC to launch a competition for interested parties in South Africa, from architects, graphic designers and urban planners to innovators and novice artists, to submit design proposals to reimagine the façade of its head office, the landmark Naspers Centre, on Cape Town’s Foreshore.

  • Media24 launches design competition to rejuvenate the façade of its 26-storey head office, Naspers Centre, on Cape Town’s Foreshore
  • Interested parties from across South Africa are invited to submit their conceptual design proposals as part of the World Design Capital 2014 official programme

Built in 1962, the building was the tallest in Africa at the time. At 26 storeys it is still a prominent feature of Cape Town’s skyline. With Cape Town’s designation as World Design Capital 2014, the media company is using the city’s year of design as a chance to redesign the building’s exterior. For the competition, Media24 provides a blank canvas to South Africa’s brightest minds to inspire creative thinking and pioneer design innovation.

Esmaré Weideman, CEO of Media24, says the competition is a chance to bring new life to the city’s oldest skyscraper and contribute to the continued expansion of the Foreshore precinct and the city as a whole.

“Cape Town’s Foreshore, and the rest of the city, is changing dramatically,” says Weideman.

“This is our opportunity to use the principles of sustainable design to transform a landmark building at the centre of the area, and to celebrate the innovation and design thinking that has led the development of Cape Town’s creative economy. What’s more, this is a great opportunity to participate in the rebranding of Media24 as a funky, on-the-move media company.”

Alayne Reesberg, CEO of Cape Town Design NPC, the implementation company driving the World Design Capital 2014 programme, hopes the competition will attract design ideas from South Africa’s leading and emerging architects and designers. “The theme of Cape Town’s World Design Capital designation is ‘Live Design. Transform Life,” says Reesberg. “This competition is designed to ignite the imagination of creatives across the country and inspire them to use their design skills to transform an important piece of the city’s architectural heritage.”

Design proposals need to focus on additions to, installations on and visual solutions for the existing building. No alterations to the existing structure of the building will be considered. Entries will be judged against a set of criteria which includes, among other factors, sustainability, aesthetic appeal and broader community involvement in the realisation of the design initiative. Curators drawn together by Cape Town Design NPC will assess the submissions and a panel of judges from within Media24 will select the winning design.

Entries will be accepted from 11 November 2013 and close on 28 February 2014. Media24 will award cash prizes for the three winning submissions, a first prize of R200 000, a second prize of R80 000 and a third prize of R40 000. The winner will be announced on 8 April 2014. All guidelines and design considerations are available on the website and competition submission portal which goes live on 4 November 2013.


Discuss this story

  • David Vercueil
    November 11th 2013

    03:18 PM

    Thank you for the opportunity to be involved in the Design Capital of the World 2014. I am very exited to get started and I wish you and all the participants the very best of luck.
    Do you have any idea when I can expect to be able to retrieve relevant drawings and other detailed info of the intended building use on your website?
    Will we be given any design information on the proposed new and altered buildings as listed on your website.
    Am I to presume that by retaining the structure of the building that you are including curtain walling/glass etc? If so what will be allowed to be demolished and what areas over and above the building’s footprint will be available for design of shops, restaurants etc?
    Will it be my responsibility to find out what specific building regulations will be applicable to the new design?
    Thank you kindly for your assistance.

    • design24-editor
      November 12th 2013

      07:33 AM

      Hi David. Thanks for your interest! A dimension drawing will be loaded onto the site this week. All other design guidelines are available under ‘rules’. We will consider any design proposals that focus on additions to, installations on and visual solutions for the existing structure – including curtain walling. The current building does have a restaurant in the foyer – there is also the rooftop that could be considered as part of the a design proposal for restaurant/retail/recreational use. All regulations are covered in the ‘rules’.

  • Valken de Villiers
    November 26th 2013

    08:11 AM

    hello everyone. I am so exited about this project. I already have some ideas as to what i want to do. I just want to make sure about the design on the building. Should it be a wrap around design around the whole building or is it just the side facing the traffic intersection that was stated on the website?
    I also want to say GOOD LUCK to all the people taking part in this opportunity, South Africa has a lot of creative people and i am exited to see where this comp leads to.
    Also thank you to the organizers for this radical challenge.
    Kind Regards

    • design24-editor
      November 28th 2013

      06:58 AM

      Many thanks for your enquiry. We’re so pleased you’re as excited as we are about the project.

      The competition is calling for proposals to redesign the entire façade of the building. Please see the submission guidelines here for more detail.

      We’re looking forward to seeing the immense creativity and imagination in the concept proposals.

      Please get in touch if you have any more questions.

  • Justine Bell
    January 12th 2014

    04:10 PM

    Can a South African led team include foreign architects as collaborators?

  • design24-editor
    February 7th 2014

    02:34 PM

    We see that you have uploaded some drawings. Do you have clearer Elevation/Section drawing, as the dimension on the drawings are not readable?

    Many Thanks,

    BM Architects

  • Steve Donnelly
    February 20th 2014

    10:20 AM

    Will work on this cool idea later!! Love it!!!

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