The V&A Waterfront has just opened Battery Park, a 12,000 square metre urban park designed by dhk Architects, which aims to better connect the V&A Waterfront complex to the Cape Town city centre.
The park, which forms part of the the V&A Waterfront’s Canal District, sits between Port Road below the elevated Helen Suzman Boulevard and Dock Road which is the main entrance to the Waterfront.
The site incorporates the historic remnants of the Amsterdam Battery which was constructed by the Dutch in 1784 to defend the Table Bay Harbour from enemy ships. In 1827 the battery was converted by the British to house prisoners from the Eastern Cape. It was then disbanded in 1898 and partially demolished in 1905 to make way for the harbour and rail network extensions.
The Battery Park development has created much needed, safer and more attractive pedestrian routes between the Cape Town CBD and V&A Waterfront via Dock Road, Fort Road, Ebenezer Road and Alfred Street. The canal also provides convenient access between the park and the Cape Town International Convention Centre. As David Green, V&A Waterfront CEO explains:
“A key objective of the V&A Waterfront has always been to re-establish the connection between the city and the sea, which we have achieved with the pedestrian path that runs alongside the Canal. Equally important, the ruins of the historic Amsterdam Battery have been retained in the Park as a new heritage site. A key focus of the development was also to offer views of the Waterfront and surrounding CBD, as well as retain and enhance the historically important line of sight between the Battery and the Noon Day gun site on Signal Hill. Our overarching vision though, was to provide a functional, convenient, comfortable, safe and unrestricted space with recreational activities for all age groups.”
The sustainable landscaping of the park is made up of ‘water-wise’ indigenous fynbos, plants and trees and are sustained with a combination of harvested rainwater and greywater.
The park also offers space for outdoor recreation with a world-class skate park, multi-courts for mini soccer or basketball and the canal for watersports such as paddleboarding and kayaking as well as retail space for food and beverages vendors.
Read more about other Waterfront developments – Es Devlin’s Zoetrope Opens at the Waterfront, Zeitz MOCAA Wins at International Architecture Awards and Woven Forms At Southern Guild.