In 2013 the building received the Regional Award for Architecture from the Eastern Cape Institute of Architects.
Designed by multi award-winning Durban-based architect Richard Stretton of Koop Design, the visitor centre provides a reference for the style of the homes and function venue being built on the three thousand hectare conservation estate.
In its citation for the 2013 award, the ECIA states: “The well-conceived and beautifully detailed structure has echoes of the Barcelona Pavilion, but reflecting in its making and choice of materials the ecological concerns of the twenty-first century.
“The building is finely detailed and crafted and well-made. The project provides a benchmark for both the design and construction of the residences which are to follow, while being a piece of jewel-box architecture in its own right”.
It is used as a restaurant over weekends, as well as a reception area for visitors and investors in the lifestyle reserve.
“We are delighted with both awards as they confirm that Hopewell is at the cutting edge of both design and creating a sustainable residential estate within an urban nature reserve,” says developer Brian Corrigan.
Construction of the first home, which overlooks a natural valley fed by a perennial stream, is due to be completed in November.
Ground will be broken on a second home within the next few weeks, say Corrigan.
“Designed the fit into the landscape, both homes are inspired by the visitor centre. We have a portfolio of designs by Richard Stretton from which investors can choose or use as a start for the design of their dream homes,” he says.
According to Corrigan the designs “offer a contemporary lifestyle for nature lovers who want to be able to commute daily to work from a beautiful and secure reserve,” says Corrigan.
The estate has only a limited number of erven available in the nature reserve which is home to a number of species, including the rare and endangered Cape Mountain Zebra.
It is situated behind the newly-developed Wedgewood Golf Estate off Cape Road, and is within a few minutes’ drive of the new Bay West Shopping Mall development.