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On site


9 700m²


Western Cape Government
Transport and Public Works


KFDW Structural and
Civil Engineers,
Ekcon Mechanical Engineers,
iX Electrical Engineers, Msingi Project Managers, MLC Quantity Surveyors

Observatory Forensic Pathology Institution

The Laboratory, located within the Groote Schuur precinct, is in close proximity to the UCT Medical School, thus facilitating student training.The new facility will provide for the integration of the Provincial ForensicPathology Service with the academic training provided by UCT and the NHLS.

The intent of the design brief is to consolidate forensic and academic functions in order to yield a modern, purpose-built institute. The emphasisis to provide an efficient, functional building appropriate to the Western Cape Government Health, designed with a reduced building life cycle cost in mind.

The plan layout is determined by the procedural and functional requirements of the building type. However, the small size of the site relative to thelarge accommodation requirements posed initial design challenges. The ceiling height of the Autopsy Rooms required a minimum of 5m and theBasement a clear ceiling height of 4m. The substantial ventilation to the Autopsy Rooms dictated an additional floor to accommodate plant rooms above these spaces. Coupled with a height restriction, the base of the building ended up substantially lower than the general foundation levels of the existing building.

The existing Main Road Modernist/Art Deco facade was successfully retained within the new design scheme as part of the Heritage Western Cape conditions.

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