The Onyx

A Manhattan lifestyle on Cape Town’s foreshore

An ambitious refurbishment project by renowned property developers Signatura, The Onyx exudes sophistication. Strikingly elegant, this renovation of the Nedbank head office is pioneering a Manhattan lifestyle on Cape Town’s foreshore. Part-hotel, part-residential, The Onyx offers its inhabitants stylish living within minutes’ walk to The Cape Town International Convention Centre, the V&A Waterfront and various corporate headquarters.

Signatura appointed award-winning architects Robert Silke & Partners to design the conversion, based on their previous success with large-scale refurbishments. JW Hugo Construction, known for excellent delivery on high quality projects, was selected as the project’s contractor. Affiliate building materials supplier Quantech quickly put GEZE’s name forward, and the ironmongery contract was awarded. “GEZE offered a better price and a better range than alternatives”, explains Robert Silke.

Collaboration is key

Says Vaughn Erasmus, Project Manager at Signatura, “There was a team of 18 professional people around the table on this project. What made it work was that we researched what products to use ahead of time, to ensure we got the best products at the right costs.”

Johleen Taljaard, Architectural Consultant at GEZE, explains that a key part of the brand’s offering is its involvement at every stage of a project. Robert Silke reiterates the relevance of this: “A conversion is a very different project to a new build: the time scales are different. With a new building, the structure has to go up before you can worry about anything else. With a conversion you have to get into finishes from Day 1. So you’ll be just a few months in, and you’re worried about ironmongery already.”

Providing peace of mind

In a project of this scale, fire safety mechanisms hold utmost importance. It was unanimously agreed that GEZE’s rigorous standards adequately upheld safety requirements. GEZE collaborated closely with Allandel on the building’s 27 fire doors, equipping them with overhead door closers with integrated selectors that automatically close in the event of a fire.

In the building’s day spa (managed, like the other shared spaces, by Newmark Hotels), double action Boxer concealed door closers subtly enhance the end-user’s experience. Robert Silke elaborates: “Having a door closer with the whole mechanism inside the door leaf is a space saver. Often an issue with door closers is that you need a lot of room around the door for the closer to sit. So GEZE’s device gets you out of jail.”

Signatura’s Vaughn Erasmus reiterates how small details improve user experience: “When you come home after a long day, your front door is your arrival item. Because it’s matt black, the ironmongery really stands out. Your door’s on a slow swinger, it closes nicely… you turn around and simply close the thumb turn without having to worry about a key. Now that’s a welcome home.”

A solution to every problem

The ironmongery certainly does stand out against The Onyx’s signature black. More than this, it provides elegant solutions to problems. Raa-ieq Simon of Robert Silke & Partners elaborates: “We needed a pull latch sliding door lock that wasn't available in South Africa. I sent a picture to Johleen. She said, 'We don’t have those, but we can make them for you'. We did about five mock ups back and forth, and we were very happy with the result.”

De Wet Barry, Executive Director of Quantech concurs: “GEZE quickly came up with a solution: They were happy to create the product. They know all the right manufacturers so they were able to get it made. I have full confidence in them.”

Sarah Schulman from Robert Silke & Partners shares praise for GEZE’s overall service, “They were wonderful, very hands on - specifically Johleen and Chris. It’s a very good relationship. Every time we need something or don’t understand something, they are there for us.”

That’s what makes GEZE different,” says GEZE’s Johleen Taljaard. “We find solutions to problems. If it means custom-making a new product to solve a specific need, we’ll make it happen. We’re committed to providing the best solution for our clients, and we walk with them every step of the way.”