In the centre of Pretoria, in close proximity to Church Square, this project is nearing completion. The existing building “Ons Eerste VolksBank” commonly known as the Red Building was constructed in 1930 and design by Collet [Kuijers, 1985] or Gordon Ellis [UP documentation]. It was constructed in the same time period as the Mutual building and the “Reserwebank”. Here are some progress photos of the project in its current state.
The Courtyard - Final touches on the internal courtyard of No 1 on Mutual is shown in the picture above, the facade is made up of facebrick and powder coated balustrades with window accents.
Behind the facebrick structure stands the existing building "Ons Eerste VolksBank" which is a heritage building. It is designed in the same typology as the “Nederlandse Bank”. The VolkskasBank group was born out of this building in 1934. The building is characterised by its sedate originality. It is built from red Kirkness bricks [some purposely made] and is with sophisticated brick detailing. The entrance consists out of a double timber door with a top light that is accentuated by two brick pillars and an architrave. The building is raised from the ground level and sits on a stone plinth that accommodates the fall in the site. The large rectangular timber windows are made from Oregon-pine. The main foyer is characterised by its large staircase. The stair’s timber handrail is made from Teak. There is still some of the original timber panels inside the stairwell and should be kept.
GASS Architecture Studios are doing some renovations to the structure. The facade is updated with modern elements that interpenetrates the existing architectural language. With possible restaurant tenancy and potential office space above, this project promises to be a successful one.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!