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Sea Point library square set for makeover

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STAFF REPORTER

The newly renamed Colin Eglin library is set for a makeover to go with its new name.

The library square on which it sits has been unchanged for decades.

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A few local businesses have been involved in recent community upgrades, and one of these is local urban property developer. They will be partnering with the City of Cape Town for the upgrade of Library Square.

Future Cape Town, an independent think-tank that works towards expanding public access to urbanism in order to promote a smarter and more inclusive city, Blok and the City launched a design competition requesting submissions showing the design and spatial potential of the space.

After a two-month process and six submissions, the winning design came from COA design studio, led by designer Michal Korycki and Robert Bowen.

Mr Korycki said the inspiration for their design came from the promenade itself.

“This iconic stretch of land with its rocky ocean view and the imposing concrete wall that draws the line between the sea and the land. Also the myriad uses that its occupants play out day to day upon it; from runners to walkers to cyclists and skaters.

“All of this provided us with more than enough in the way of functional and design inspiration.

“We wanted to access the sea view that is only visible from a raised perspective at library square, so our suggestion of a landscaped amphitheatre was born. We also incorporated a retaining wall to form part of the support structure, that will also work as a sound buffer, and even a potential canvas for artistic expression from local urban artists. From a purely aesthetic viewpoint, we also see this wall providing a link to the existing promenade wall.”

Jacques van Embden, managing director of Blok and a Sea Point resident said: “Having lived in Sea Point for so long, the Library Square is an area that features prominently in my memories, and it feels like a huge honour now to be a part of the team that could breathe new life and relevance into it, and give it access to a brand-new and bigger audience.”

The construction phase of the project will begin once enough funds have been raised, and in the interim, the team behind the design competition have facilitated free wi-fi on the square.

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