Portside Tower

Portside is a 139-metre-tall (456 ft) building in Cape Town, South Africa. Completed in 2014, it is the city's tallest building[3][4] and at the time of completion, was Cape Town's first significant skyscraper developed in the central business district (CBD) in 15 years.[5]

Portside Tower
Portside Tower complete.JPG
The Completed Portside Tower in 2014.
General information
Address5 Buitengracht Street
Town or cityCape Town
CountrySouth Africa
Coordinates33°55′00″S 18°25′19″E / 33.91667°S 18.42194°E / -33.91667; 18.42194
CostR1.6 Billion (estimated)[1]
OwnerAccelerate Property Fund and FirstRand Bank Ltd, each owning a separate sectional title unit
LandlordBaker Street Properties
Height139 metres (456 ft)
Technical details
Floor count32[2]
Floor areaover 52,000 m2[2]
Design and construction
Architecture firmdhk Architects; Louis Karol Architects[2]
Civil engineerWSP Structures
Quantity surveyorAecom Davis Langdon
De Leeuw Group
Main contractorConcor (formally Murray and Roberts Construction))
Awards and prizesTallest Green Building in South Africa

The property is jointly owned by FirstRand Bank (FNB, RMB, Wesbank and Ashburton) and Accelerate Property Fund. The bank self-occupies its share of the property, while Accelerate Property Fund is leasing office-and retail space to tenants. Accelerate Property Fund appointed Cape Town-based commercial brokerage firm Baker Street Properties[6] to manage and market the property.

The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) awarded the property a 5 star Green Star rating,[7] making it the tallest Green Building in South Africa.


In 2008 it was initially proposed that the building include a hotel and be 147.6 metres (484 ft) above sea level. However, due to the Late-2000s recession and difficulties around securing a hotel management contact the project was put on hold for almost three years and the design was altered.[8]

During the design and planning phase, and after extensive public participation, it was decided to keep the building below a certain height so as not to obscure the view of Table Mountain. The 32-storey tower[9] has over 51,500 square metres (554,000 sq ft) of office space with remaining space being used for over 1,382 parking bays[10] and retail outlets.

The building was designed to use low energy technology throughout and is the first large building in South Africa to use almost exclusively LED lighting. The building has been awarded a five star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa as compliant technologies have been specified throughout.[11]

South African-based architecture studio, dhk, designed the building.[12]


The Portside Tower under construction in June 2012. The picture is taken from the South facing side of the building.

Construction work on the tower began on the 12 August 2011.[8] In late March 2013 construction was temporarily halted by the City of Cape Town's disaster response unit due to strong gale-force winds making the scaffolding unstable.[10]


  1. ^ "At The Portside". Land Mark Properties. Archived from the original on June 9, 2011. Retrieved April 21, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c "The Building Portside". Archived from the original on 2014-10-19. Retrieved 2014-07-18.
  3. ^ http://www.emporis.com/statistics/tallest-buildings-capetown-southafrica
  4. ^ http://www.iolproperty.co.za/roller/news/entry/cape_town_s_tallest_building
  5. ^ "Portside Tower Cape Town". e-architect. 20 Apr 2009. Retrieved April 21, 2011.
  6. ^ Manager, Marketing (2016-06-22). "We are your new go-to firm for everything on Portside in Cape Town". Baker Street Blog. Retrieved 2016-09-12.
  7. ^ Munnik, Mike (February 2015). "GBCSA Case Studies | Portside" (PDF). Green Building Council of South Africa. Green Building Council of South Africa.
  8. ^ a b Williams, Murray (August 4, 2011). "Cape Town to get new tallest building". Cape Argus. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  9. ^ "Portside building gets five-star as-built Green Star rating award". Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition). 28 March 2015.
  10. ^ a b March 31, 2013. "Winds make Cape skyscraper unstable". SAPA. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  11. ^ "Portside Ahoy In Cape Town". Skyscrapernews.com. 2009-06-19. Retrieved April 21, 2011.
  12. ^ "WAN:: Portside by dhk architects in Cape Town, South Africa". www.worldarchitecturenews.com. Retrieved 2018-08-28.

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