Project name: Gorgeous George Hotel

Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Date completed: May 2019

Architects: Klaus Newman / Urbane Citizen (PTY) Ltd

Interior Design: Tristan Plessis / Studio A

Hotel Group / Developer: Mr Tobias Alter

Construction Company: Emcon

In the heart of Cape Town’s bustling Central Business District, Gorgeous George is a consolidation of two landmark buildings – A “Cape Edwardian” building, estimated to have been completed in the early 1940s and an Art Deco counterpart.

Urbane Citizen ensured that Gorgeous George remained integrated with it’s wider environment by reinstating the urban presence of the building as a public venue, and stylising the original features with a contemporary position. The Gorgeous George hopes to be more than just a hotel, but a living room for the neighbourhood which houses the best of Cape Town’s old and new.

The brief given to Urbane Citizen resolved into 32 rooms across 4 floors, with the first floor set aside as a conference and meeting space, and the sixth-floor a bar and restaurant that spills onto the roof terrace of the corner building. The rooms combine the classical grandeur of the building and modern design, with Urbane Citizen retaining elements of the original concrete, steel structure and historic windows, partnered alongside design that showcases the immense talent of local South African artists and designers.

Urbane Citizen found an exhilarating challenge in the design for the roof terrace. The lower portion of the original Broseley clay tiled roof was refurbished and a steel pergola structure clad with sun-control glass extends the original roofing profile, appearing as solid and almost invisible during the day, transforming into a transparent structure at night. A new pool was constructed inside the original corner tower, a unique feature of the hotel, being both a viewpoint and a landmark at the same time. The roof terrace area embraces Urbane Citizen’s vision for this boutique hotel by using the history of it’s buildings to provide context to the modern approach to design.