Architecture commendation for Whale Trail hikers’ accommodation
The Department of Transport and Public Works (DTPW) has received a Cape Institute for Architecture commendation for the Noetsie hikers’ accommodation stop at the De Hoop Nature Reserve. The panel’s recognition of the project, among many contenders, is a noteworthy achievement.
This R3,2 million project for CapeNature replaced one of the overnight stops on the Whale Trail. Design development started in 2012 with the DTPW Chief Directorate: General Infrastructure completing the initial design stages in-house. The two buildings are designed to make effective use of the scenic views, within strict building constraints. Practical completion was achieved on 27 February 2015.
The site is environmentally very sensitive and the project team had to ensure that it worked within the limits set by the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning. These included using a minimal amount of concrete, and not expanding the footprint of the original cabin site.
The facility caters for 11 hikers and is fairly self-sufficient. Electricity is generated using photo voltaic panels, water is harvested from a nearby stream, and sewerage is processed using a Biolytix system. CapeNature staff members deliver food and drinking water to each overnight stop as the hikers progress along the trail.
“This commendation is a fantastic achievement for the internal project team that developed the concept design on which the final product was based”, said DTPW Head of Department Jacqueline Gooch.
“This is a feather in the cap of the Chief Directorate: General Infrastructure and the Department as a whole,” she added.