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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It has been planned for ages, the photo’s have been gathering, and finally they are now all available to you in one place.

The purpose of this thread to highlight the visual delights of Durban. However it will also showcase districts in the city that are not well known to outsiders. In that vain, I have compiled a few district reports that delve into the character of the area’s and highlight what they have to offer and how they came about.

But most of all, the pictures will do the majority of the talking.

You will find no project updates and no new developments. Only a reflection on the past and the present, which have made Durban’s future possible.
 

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When one thinks of Durban, these are generally the images one gets presented with:

The CBD. That aging beauty which dramatically rises out of Durban Harbour and presents itself as a massive wall of art deco, 60’s concrete and 90’s glass and steel. It is most definitely an impressive vista, yet one that unfortunately is hardly seen by locals, but one that is admired by the crewman of the ships that trawl the Southern Hemisphere’s busiest harbour and one of the top 15 busiest in the world.





















 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The Beachfront

Another example of the effect that concrete had on the 70’s era. The once thriving beachfront went through a period of dramatic decline in the early nineties as tourists headed north to umhlanga and south to margate, completely ignoring Durban. This was a tough period for tourism in Durbs, but with the turn of the millennium the city has hit back, and done so hard. New developments on the northern edge of the beachfront in the form of the Suncoast casino have transformed the perception of the beachfront area in the psyche of Durbanites. And with the pace of development at the point in the south, the future is looking rosy for the golden mile in between. The mile is full of hotels and is presently one of the areas under major rejuvenation in the city.




















 

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Excellent photos thanks for posting.
 

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Architecturally Durban has more to offer than most people give her credit for. She has one of the largest collections of Art Deco buildings in the world and some of the finest Victorian and Edwardian buildings in South Africa. She embraced the 60’s/70’s with all its concrete and cladding, and has now embraced modernism with the space age buildings that have mushroomed across the ridges of Umhlanga and La Lucia, the most modern commercial area’s in the country.

She is a city that has quietly gotten on with the job, with little attention in comparison to Johannesburg and Cape Town. But while they may have been oblivious to the changes that were occurring out east, she carefully calculated her plan to find a niche in an ever changing market. In 1997 she burst onto the scene with a weapon that neither Jozi, or iKapa could match, and still battle to compete with. The International Convention Centre catapualted the city into the international conference scene, at a time when South Africa was the flavour of the month. More conferences were hosted at the icc in its first 3 years than they expected to handle in 10 years. So important was the icc to the re-establishment of Durban as a city to be reckoned with, that it even managed to re-energise the cities ailing tourist industry. In the process the centre won countless awards for its design and has for the last 3 years won the award for the best conference centre in Africa. In 2004 it was also rated as one of the top 10 convention centres worldwide. With its expansion underway, it stands to further improve its standing in the world market.










And here is the neighbouring Hilton Hotel, that opened in 1997 (therefore making it the newest completed highrise in Durban until the ones at the point are completed next year. It is 76m tall, has 19Floors and 367 rooms.












 

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great pics

the convention center looks great !
 

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Nice ones. This area...



...is just begging to be redeveloped. :)

Who's the architecte of this one, Helmut Jahn?

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Jan said:
Nice ones. This area...



...is just begging to be redeveloped. :)

At present that area is under going rapid transformation. The Point region of Durban is regarded as the home of beggers, prostitutes and the Nigerian drug lords, but that is all starting to change.

The city council aligned with a private property developer and the end result is the Durban Point Waterfront. At present a new canal system is in place, and 5 buildings are u/c. So far 25 developments have been launched to the public and all have sold out. The mix is going to be retail on the groundfloor and offices and residential above. Height limits on the properties that border the canals is 10F, while there are a few buildings over 20F on the perimeter.

The catalyst for the whole development was the opening of uShaka Marine world in April 2004. It is the 6th largest aquarium in the world, but has taken theming in aquariums to new levels (will post pics of it soon). It also won an award at the beginging of this year from the World Theme Park association, which placed it as the Worlds' BEST marine theme park.

The whole point development is spread over 7 phases and we are about to enter phases 2 sales. Which include prime hotel sites on the beach and others that overlook the harbour
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Special Report - Windermere Design and Restaurant District


Like most South African cities, Durban is undergoing a renaissance. Previously drab precincts are getting a fresh lease on life and at the same time giving the cities citizens an ever growing selection of café’s, stores and galleries. Since 2002 the Windermere road area has become a hive of activity, with many old buildings getting a welcome renovation that has had a ripple affect on the surrounding area’s, which are now beginning to form unique precincts in one of Durban’s most historic and beautiful suburbs.

This new found confidence among the cities citizen’s has lead to the area becoming the cities unofficial design district and home to some of the most cutting edge designers in South Africa. Of the recognizable names in the industry are EGG designs, who have won international acclaim with their ambitious take on interior design. This is evident in the design of their offices in Ninth Avenue.

The area exudes charm and sophistication and this is more often than not reflected in the prices in the stores and the meals that are served. The atmosphere is more contemporary colonial than the tropical atmosphere that most people associate with durbs, which is often unknown to the outsider who doesn’t know what happens beyond the cities beaches, and doesn’t attempt to venture into these areas’. Walking along the tree-lined avenues that dominate the area, one feels a world away from the cities beaches. A chilled moment in these cafes, sipping on a cappuccino, can almost take all your stresses and worries away.

But this forum is focused on buildings, and as such the architectural gems that enhance this district are of the utmost importance. Most of the buildings date back to the early 20th century, when the Morningside area was considered to be the home to the cities’ elite who could afford to live on the ridges overlooking the city and harbour below. As Durban has a strong British heritage, many of the homes exude an English charm. As you can see from the images that follow, the character of the homes have been kept, even though their modern day uses differ greatly from their original purposes.

Among the stores, the French consulate can be found, as well as numerous media, promotional and property companies. Restaurants range from Italian, Greek and Portuguese, to Mexican, Indian, and Cuban and to those which are very contemporary in feel. This eclectic mix is carried over to the varied array of bars and lounges that dot the area. From the very Bohemian, to the Chic image centered crowds, most tastes are covered. But don’t expect to find a Keg or Spur in the mix.

The only blot on the landscape is the Windermere Shopping centre, a 15 story beast that lacks any creative or architectural flair. Luckily from street level it is almost unnoticeable due to the dense tree cover that blocks out any view of it. But even it is attempting to blend in with the surroundings to a degree, and has opened stores that have external entrances, so as to compliment the outdoor feel of the surrounding area.

Pictures can only tell so much, and to properly understand the feel of the area, one has to walk its streets and soak up its energy. No wonder there is an abundance of creative talent in Durban, with inspiration that derives from precincts like this one.








BBB - Bean Bag Bohemia - The Soul of the BoHo - Best late night bar around


Naked - One of my Fav Durban Restuarants








The upper windermere strip

Skanky Jacks


Baked - One of the Best For there amazing range of cakes...YUM


Home - The Funkyiest Bar i've ever seen. Chairs on the 3D walls, (will paste some indoor images soon!!!)



Billy the BUMS - One of the longest standing Bars in Durbs, that lead to off shoots in Cape Town and Jozi. Best place to be after the rugga. Next to it is Skanky Jacks and Wonder Bar (Great Deep house nights on Sats)


The interestingly painted building is Glass Blowing Heaven and incorporates Taco Zulu - A mexican restuarant started 2 years ago by 3 guys from california. Food and vibe is great. They have taken down the outside roofing in the pic cos they are renovating at the moment.


The heart of the design area


 
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Gr8 thread Dysan and high time that Durbs is show-cased. Durban always reminds me of Miami - without the glamour of course.
 
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