Provincial Office Complex
Bhisho, South Africa
Competition winner 2009


The Eastern Cape is a landscape of dramatic mountains, wide open plains, stretching coastline and strong traditions. This natural landscape has inspired the project design in a way that celebrates the cultural and natural environment. The 'line' between building and the landscape is blurred, permeable and accessible such that it reflects a transparency in government institutions.

A place for the people

The ground floor landscape extends beyond the footprint of the building into the landscape while, at the same time the enveloping landscape is allowed to 'access' the building. An expansive courtyard stretches the entire length of building axis and has been developed as space for cultural expression, arts and crafts. The sunken landscapes below the chambers function as connectors with the outside landscape. Burrowing down and exposing layers of earth and history, these spaces will be used for cultural events and ceremonies - unearthing the past and showcasing the rise from darkness into the light.

An accessible botanical garden celebrates the rich natural beauty of the Eastern Cape juxtaposes the solidity of the building to the east. The natural veld types of the surrounding regions are represented in this linear space. Rich species diversity in the landscape becomes a vignette representation of the broader landscape.

Apart from the environmental benefits, the roof garden becomes a place to enjoy views over the vast Eastern Cape Landscape.

GreenInc © 2017