Cape Town's new Battery Park to give city slickers a break
The 12‚000m² park has open fields‚ indigenous fynbos gardens and trees‚ built on top of the ruins of a 200-year-old artillery installation
The new Silo District‚ with its massive grain silo redesigned to resemble a bee hive and which now houses the Zeits Museum for Contemporary Art Africa‚ will have to share the spotlight with the V&A Waterfront’s new project.
V&A Waterfront CEO David Green says that Battery Park will be a decommercialised public space for people to take a break in the middle of the city.
The 12‚000m² park has open fields‚ indigenous fynbos gardens and trees‚ built on top of the ruins of a 200-year-old artillery installation meant to deter hostile warships from entering the harbour.
What would a South African public space be without a braai area? And there are basketball courts‚ a skate park and a play area for kids.
Two massive 18th century cannons stand ready to destroy the consulting firm just across the canal from the reconstructed 18th century artillery fortification “with a contemporary take”.
Green said that the waterway was a public swimming space with the potential for water polo and other water sports to be played there. There are already shops renting out bicycles and "stand up" paddle boards for people to explore the canals and the city.
“A key feature of the V&A Waterfront has always been to re-establish the connection between the city and the sea‚ which we have achieved with the pedestrian path that runs alongside the canal‚” said Green.
“Equally important‚ the ruins of the historic Amsterdam Battery have been retained in the park as a new heritage site. A key focus of the development was also to offer views of the Waterfront and surrounding CBD‚ as well as retain and enhance the historically important line of sight between the battery and the noon day gun site on Signal Hill‚” he said.
“Our overarching vision though‚ was to provide a functional‚ convenient‚ comfortable‚ safe and unrestricted space with recreational activities for all age groups‚” Green said.
A parking garage under the park will provide 1‚206 new parking spaces for the public and businesses. Around the clock security will also be provided by the V&A Waterfront.