Sunday, August 2, 2009

Apartments, Cape Town

Apratments, Cape TownI snapped this apartment block from one of our bus tours at the 2003 World Congress on Art Deco in Cape Town.

It is always great to see when original open balconies have been retained and no doubt the South African climate helps in this regard.

The windows are relatively small. Again this is probably a reaction to the local climate, an attempt to keep the flats cool during summer. And I do like the way they are cut through the corners of the block.


  1. David, I love this type of residential building.

    In Tel Aviv, there were 4,000 of them built, always in white or cream, and almost always with the balconies and windows as you have shown. Alas only 2,000 have survived since the 1933-39 period eg

    But in Tel Aviv they were, and still are always referred to as Bauhaus, never Deco. The two styles probably shared many of the same impulses - assembled on site, modern materials, weather appropriate designs, flat roofs etc. But Bauhaus residences are pared back to no decorative elements at all. Inside and out.

    I have some great buildings that really do compel comparisons to your Cape Town block, at

    all the best

  2. Thanks Hels.

    Very informative, as always. There are lots of similar buildings in Asmara and they are usually referred to as Modernist.

    I use Art Deco as an umbrella term for lots of different styles of buildings generally from the interwar period although even that doesn't cover all the architecture that can fall under that term.

    It any case they are all great examples of architecture.


  3. With windows that small, it must be dark inside, but for a cool dry climate, I'd bet its quite refreshing to get out of the heat and sunlight! I like the photo, and I agree that cutting the corners is a really nice touch.

  4. Thanks Justus
    I didn't get to see inside but I agree that in a hot climate you need to keep the flat cool.