permeable brown brick facade enfolds wastewater control center in cape town

permeable brown brick facade enfolds wastewater control center in cape town

Blower House Complex in Cape Town

 

SALT Architects undertook the design of the Blower House Complex at the Athlone Wastewater Treatment Works upgrade near Cape Town, South Africa. The site, adjacent to the N2 highway, features historical structures from the decommissioned Athlone Power Station and aged wastewater treatment works. SALT Architects envisions repurposing these structures in their master plan for the site.

 

The Blower House Complex responds to the client’s brief, aiming to symbolize progress, boost staff morale, optimize flow, and provide observation opportunities. As the initial phase of a planned upgrade, the design integrates with existing infrastructure while setting new material and detailing standards.

 

The building’s layout, dictated by the site’s civil infrastructure plan, orients its long facade northward. A first-floor gallery celebrates the primary function—the plant—offering views of the blowers and creating a multifunctional space. A brown face brick wall on the first floor reinforces the human scale amid machinery dominance. A covered walkway on the ground floor protects from the elements and guides users to the main entrance, revealing glimpses of internal functions.

permeable brown brick facade enfolds wastewater control center in cape town
all images courtesy of SALT Architects

 

 

Strategic Circulation by SALT Architects

 

Circulation planning considers the 24/7 working schedule of ground staff, placing essential facilities on the ground floor to limit dirt transfer. The first-floor clerical functions are kept separate and accessible after the ground staff don clean outfits. The laboratory, serving both office and ground staff, is strategically located at the furthest end of the gallery.

 

Materials address the corrosive wastewater environment, with pre-cast concrete window fins inspired by old plant buildings. The fins, turned vertically, provide a surface for glazing without additional frames prone to corrosion. SALT Architects opts for this material solution to create a visually satisfying internal expression, enhancing the identity of the complex.

permeable brown brick facade enfolds wastewater control center in cape town
brick facade

permeable brown brick facade enfolds wastewater control center in cape town
main entrance

permeable brown brick facade enfolds wastewater control center in cape town
pedestrian walkway

athlone-wastewater-control-center-blower-house-complex-salt=architects-designboom-1800-2

main entrance

permeable brown brick facade enfolds wastewater control center in cape town
entrance lobby

athlone-wastewater-control-center-blower-house-complex-salt=architects-designboom-1800-3

first-floor gallery

permeable brown brick facade enfolds wastewater control center in cape town
blower hall

permeable brown brick facade enfolds wastewater control center in cape town
control room

 

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ground and first floor plan
ground and first floor plan
elevations and section
elevations and section
axonometric
axonometric

project info:

 

name: Athlone Wastewater Control Centre and Blower House Complex

architect: SALT Architects | @saltarchitects

location: Cape Town, South Africa

 

 

designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: christina vergopoulou | designboom

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