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21st Aug 2022

Architect Africa Online

Africa's Leading Architecture Aggregator

Devonbosch set to become the standard in mixed use developments

Newly launched Devonbosch, a mixed use urban development in the heart of the Stellenbosch Winelands, is set to become the standard with regards to the integration of housing, retail, business, recreation and other amenities.

Situated on the corner of the R304 and Bottelary Road and linked to the N1 highway, the development is defined by its excellent accessibility and visibility. Says Pieter van der Westhuizen, Managing Director of Square Turn Developments: “Once completed, Devonbosch will offer a world class innovative, vibrant, economic, and sustainable town. Our vision encompasses some 80ha of green parklands and water ways, an urban playground in the heart of the Winelands. Here you can create a lifestyle as individual as your needs, and be committed to the sustainable demands of the future.”

The entire development is designed to ease the demands on the environment through the management of water resources, the provision of sustainable energy and internal waste recycling measures. The commitment to sustainability extends into the design of buildings through environmentally sound building practices such as the installation of double-glazed windows, Photo Voltaic Panels, smart cooling and heating installations and other initiatives.

It has been conceived as a progressive, fully-fledged mixed-use precinct of sufficiently large scale to accommodate a wide range of choices in close proximity of each other within an integrated, walkable environment. “Walkability is a quality found in mostly older and established cities and towns all over the world that we all love to visit and explore on foot, but which we’ve forgotten to build by giving excessive preference to the private car. We, as a 21st century society, have overlooked the pleasures of lingering amidst our busy routines, which we believe can be reinvented at Devonbosch,” Van der Westhuizen explains.

The world’s commitment to be less car dependant in future becomes clear when evaluating the traffic and parking provisions at Devonbosch. Traffic is prompted to leave the streets through the provision of convenient parking options where vehicles are stored out of sight beneath buildings or behind structures. This results in open and decluttered public spaces. Broad and open pedestrian and cycling pathways are provided throughout the development to encourage everyone to walk between buildings and use the parks as breakout areas. Linked by multiple access roads, pedestrian walkways and various modes of public transport, integrated mobility is a reality.

When it comes to safety and security, the development will be at the leading edge of technology and linked to a Smart-Camera surveillance system that monitors the precinct 24/7. As an urban town and not a gated security estate, access is not restricted during the day. Normal activity on site and the sense of community responsibility ensure that all suspicious behaviour is reported to an onsite security team whist maintaining the sense of an open community. After hours, access is restricted at the main entrance where persons and vehicles are recorded and only granted access for valid reasons. Patrols during the night time ensure everyone’s safety.

Devonbosch offers custom made business premises to meet the needs of a young start-up business or a multi-national corporation, well as bespoke residential units for all stages of life. “Since the inception of the development as a concept, the decision was taken to invest in an Urban Design Framework to ensure that these design qualities are always front of mind. This framework focuses on the urban qualities which add value to how we live, work and play,” says Van der Westhuizen.

The development will offer housing options to meet lifetime needs. “The concept of ‘living in place in time’ is important in a mixed-use environment and especially so at Devonbosch. Over time, there will be a combination of small apartments for single persons and larger ones for families. As you progress through the various stages of life, there will be a residential option tailor-made for you. Similarly for businesses, varied commercial options will cater to expansion and downscaling,” he comments.

As part of the first phase, Precinct A will offer 610 residential opportunities, 46 000m² of commercial office space, 7 000m² retail space and warehousing totalling 108 000m² of developable bulk. Precinct A is a quarter of the developable land and will be completed within seven years.

The completed Brickfield Studios and Offices have 65% occupancy, ranging from small start-up businesses to multi-national regional head offices. Brickfield Studios offer tenants a ‘plug-and-play’ option in high quality open spaces that range from 55m² to 120m² starting at R105/m. Brickfield Offices offer spaces ranging from 167m² to 1 000m² with a tenant installation contribution of R2 100/m². Prices start at R167/m². The first residential apartments will be launched in October this year.

Devonbosch is located one of the last large vacant portions of land on the urban edge of Stellenbosch. “It’s a project for the broader Winelands and a prime opportunity to re-purpose and rehabilitate industrial land, and at the same time uplift the broader Koelenhof community. The development is progressive in every way and offers a setting within an expansive context of exceptional natural beauty. Ultimately, it’s a centralised development hub that is de-centralised from the traditional nodes of Stellenbosch, Paarl and the Northern Suburbs. It presents an opportunity to create a mixed-use environment to fulfil your needs through your professional and personal life – a sustainable, smart, green and vibrant city in the heart of the Winelands.”

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