A look at Cape Town’s new ‘living forest’ apartments

 ·6 May 2023

Construction has started on The Fynbos, the first biophilic building in Africa.

A biophilic building incorporates elements of natural lighting and ventilation, natural landscape features and other natural elements.

The 24-story building will be on Upper Bree Street in the heart of Cape Town’s CBD, with the demolition of the old building nearly completed – all recyclable materials will be saved for reuse (in line with The Fynbos’s Greenstar rating).

Once finished, the building will have 689 apartments, a co-working space, a lap pool, a rooftop sunset terrace, a rooftop fitness centre, a ground-floor plant-based restaurant, a tea room, and a botanical bar.

According to development managers Gardner Property Solutions and Lurra Capital, the building will integrate solar panels, which can double the electricity quota needed to power the common areas.

The building will also have improved water efficiency through a sophisticated rainwater harvesting system and a central heated water system that avoids needing individual geysers.

Double-glazed windows will also reduce the amount of energy on heating in winter while also acting as a sound softener.

All of these energy savings tools will be passed onto the owners, who will pay reduced levies.

The building’s exterior will also feature a 1200m2 vertical garden made up of indigenous trees and indigenous shrubs.

The luxury studio units start at R1,104,000 and range from 24 to 40 square metres.

The one-bedroom apartments start at R1,920,000  and range from 34 to 58 square metres.

A two-bedroom apartment will cost R4,290,000 and range to 82 square metres.

Property demand skyrocketing in Cape Town 

“We are seeing robust interest in The Fynbos from local as well as foreign buyers and expats,” Paul Uptonhead of developments for Dogon Group Properties, said.

“In fact, sales have been so strong that the developers are considering increasing the price of the remaining units.”

He added that ex-Gauteng residents and semigrants from other South Africa provinces are buying more properties in the Western Cape, with particular interest for properties near good schools, amenities, and lifestyle offerings.

“Over the next few years, Cape Town’s population is predicted to explode, with the Western Cape Government stating that by 2025 about 5,133,370 people are expected to live in the city. The projection is that within a generation, 10 million people will call the Mother City home.”

“This rising demand has led to an increase in property prices and a scarcity of stock in Cape Town’s suburbs. On occasions, demand has outstripped supply in some of the most desirable Cape Town areas, such as the southern suburbs, Atlantic seaboard, V&A Waterfront and the CBD.”

“This means that the price of a home is that much more expensive in the Western Cape and that finding a quality option in the right area may be harder than many people think.”

Alexa Horne, Dogon MD, said that the main reason people move to Cape Town is for a lifestyle change, but there are several other reasons as well.

“There are many other factors drawing people to the Cape. For starters, the Western Cape’s unemployment rate is six percentage points below the national average. Cape Town usually experiences load-shedding one stage lower than the rest of South Africa.

“The city is rated as Africa’s “tech capital” and has attracted the likes of Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Construct, and is home to almost 60% of South Africa’s start-ups.”

Images of the Fynbos can be found below:



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