Bloemhof Electricity Headquarters: Planting Master Plan
Conceived as an endemic planting scheme for this Green Star Project, plant choices were taken strictly from the local vegetation types, namely, Cape Flats Sand Fynbos and Swartland Shale Renosterveld. A short list of species was used and the large planting bands planted with mixes of 2 to 3 species from the list.
The radiating circular footprint of the building rippled across the landscape through car parks and then to the northwest over the single largest planting area. This area was filled with carefully stripped and stockpiled, sandy topsoil to create an extensive berm up to 1.5m deep. The planting design ran over this gently undulating form with its own subtle gradations of plant mixes.
A powerful avenue of 50 year old, 5m tall Canary Island Date Palms, a typical cultural landscape feature of the area, is the only exotic intrusion in the scheme. The signature tree on site being the Wild Olive with smaller key plantings of the local Wild Peach.
The scheme also features roof gardens on the pair of roof tops of this bilaterally symmetrical building. A very large retaining wall, partly concrete, partly retaining blocks, forms a 'canyon' on the north boundary creating another planting challenge for sun-loving fynbos; forest plants had to be chosen instead.
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