Led by heritage architect, Dr André van Graan, our Art Deco tour focuses on outstanding examples of “moderne” architecture in Cape Town’s centre, including Greenmarket Square, Darling Street and St George’s Mall.
André is the expert on Cape Town’s Art Deco. Over many years he has lectured on the subject including giving an online talk for the UCT Summer School recently. André collects Art Deco and wrote his PhD on how modern architecture developed in Cape Town from 1918 to 1948. André was a key member of the organising committee for the Art Deco International Congress held in Cape Town which had its gala in the Banking Hall (guests dressed in Art Deco style!).
Our walking tour starts at 4:45pm with De Meye wine and snacks at Mullers. It is still an optometrist, its original purpose, and has all its Art Deco fittings and furnishings (design writer, Paul Duncan, says in his book, Hidden Cape Town, such an interior would be in a museum in other countries). We finish at the impressive former headquarters of Old Mutual, now called Mutual Heights. It was the tallest building in Africa when it was built in 1939. Its banking hall remains largely untouched – it is closed to the general public but we will have special access.
Starting point: Mullers Optometrists, 104 Longmarket St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8001 (they close at 4:30pm but will be opening up specially for us)
Finishing: Mutual Heights,14 Darling St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000
Two hours: 4:45pm for 5pm start; finish 7pm (or for a Saturday tour 10am to 12pm).
Early bird: R300 pre-pay or R400 cash on the evening
Afterwards there is the option to join us at Gorgeous George, at your own expense. We’ll be at their roof top restaurant with glimpses over to Greenmarket Square where we’ll hopefully be able to see the upper parts of the Art Deco buildings there.
Images: Market House (Greenmarket Sq); Mullers’ facade detail; design proposal for Market House (picture by Art Harris) and Mutual Height’s entrance “hall”