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Architectural Eye Candy

A look at the hotel that completed the vibrant Cape Town Foreshore aesthetic

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By Amy Saunders | March 22, 2019 | Design

Master architect of urban regeneration, Robert Silke, has radically transformed what was formerly a drab property with limited use, into one of the most beautiful hotels in the country, The Onyx.

Thinking out of the box, Silke’s vision was to transform the office building into a venue that looked like a luxury cruise liner. And he did exactly that.  

“The brief was to make something aspirational and beautiful and give it a genuine joy and frivolity. And there was a budget available to do it.

“The trick here has been to edit a corporate “black glass box” into an apartment hotel - something that inspires fantasy and the joy of living in one of the world’s great harbour cities. This happened by careful surgical intervention (to the facade especially) so as to create opportunities for futuristic and sculptural white aluminium curved balcony features, off-set against the existing black facade.

“The crisp aluminium detailing evokes the experience of a luxury yacht. We didn’t even think we had the skills and expertise in South Africa to pull this off. It’s more like an iPhone than a building - a piece of product design. I think that’s perhaps one of the reasons is why it captured the public’s imagination,” said Silke.

Run by Newmark Hotels, the development’s clients range from European and African billionaires through to local city dwellers, entrepreneurs. Take a look at the luxury hotel below.

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