Face brick finishs Green Star hotel

The world’s fourth Radisson RED hotel is a vibrant addition to Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront. The building's use of natural materials including clay products contributed towards the 5 Star Green Star rating awarded to the Radisson RED hotel building (Silo 6) – the first ever Green Star Custom Hotel rating for ‘new build’.

The Radisson RED is the first hotel, countrywide, to receive an outstanding 5 Star Green Star Custom Hotel design rating for a new build, setting the benchmark for other hotel design and construction projects. Taking into consideration the use of natural building materials and energy-efficient design in its ratings, the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) evaluates nine impact categories before issuing a certification. These include management, indoor environment quality, energy, transport, water, materials, land-use and ecology, emissions and innovation. The rating system recognises green buildings, such as Radisson RED, and encourages the property industry to adopt sustainable development practices.

Manfred Braune, executive director: Certifications at the GBCSA, said that this is an exciting moment for green building in South Africa, signalling the move of green buildings into the hospitality sector. “This is not just about doing the right thing, although that is, of course, vital in the face of our local and global environmental challenges. It also makes good business sense to build green and, going forward, we look forward to further green transformation in the hospitality sector in South Africa. Hotels such as Hotel Verde and DoubleTree have achieved Green Star ratings for their existing operations, and now the Radisson RED is the first hotel to receive a Green Star rating for its design and construction – hospitality is definitely going green.”

The 252-room hotel is located in the recently completed Silo district – a modern, semi-industrial space on the V&A Waterfront set to become Cape Town’s newest art, culture and design district. The hotel consists of four event rooms, a ground-floor double volume restaurant, and a rooftop swimming pool and bar overlooking the stunning waterfront with views of the iconic Table Mountain. The playfully artful interior includes a combination of face bricks creating a rich façade, all of which corresponds with the newly-opened Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa within the grain silo building, adjacent to the hotel.

Completed in September 2017 after 18 months of construction, the Radisson RED hotel was built using around 160 000 of Corobrik’s De Hoop Red Smooth Blended face bricks for the exterior. Selected for its extreme durability, heat resistance and sound insulation properties, the clay brick is ideally suited to the harsh micro-climate and harbour conditions experienced on the V&A Waterfront.

Architectural firms, DesignSpaceAfrica and Peerutin Architects, opted for ‘second grade’ De Hoop bricks because of the imperfections that would achieve the weathered look they desired. This particular Corobrik product is zoned for use in these unique circumstances with this project requiring second grade bricks with clean lines. Because of the hotel’s location within the Silo district, architects wanted to create a robust building with industrial character suited to its surrounds while providing a unique aesthetic presence which has an impact.

“The industrial character we wanted was achieved by the irregular brick coursing as opposed to the typical, clean face brick coursing,” explained Luyanda Mpahlwa lead architect on the project and director of DesignSpaceAfrica. “The imperfections of this brick were ideal for this, and mortar was laid flush with the brick to create a more coherent but textured façade finish. The industrially-produced, dark-stained and sleek aluminium window pop-outs provide an interesting contrast to the light grey-coloured random face brick coursing. This contrast makes the façade unique, with the pop-outs also provide sun shading during the peak hours of hot sun early morning and midday.”

However, the architects wanted a more toned-down hue than the red of the De Hoop so they selected Keim, an external wall finish that allowed them their colour of choice with the silver wash. Keim is a naturally-based organic and durable paint application which can be applied with a render and weather-protective layer to improve the quality of the mortar to the same standard as the face brick, all while preventing moisture penetration. The final effect is subtle light grey finish with a silver, metallic wash which gives the façade a special shimmer when sunlight hits it.

Andrew McLachlan, Senior Vice-President, Business Development, Africa & Indian Ocean for The Rezidor Hotel Group said the design, incorporating Corobrik’s De Hoop Smooth Blended face bricks is both inspiring and functional.  

“This is a really stunning hotel which is thanks to the efforts of all involved, and we look forward to offering our guests a new type of experience in a hotel which embraces freedom, flexibility and fun,” said McLachlan.


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