Heritage Forum

101 Dorp Gallery

Poster, Slee & Dorpstraat


101 Dorp Street

Date Built





Slee & Co Architects

101 Dorp Gallery


The design of the 101 Dorp Gallery and the studio was mainly driven by the need to conserve the historical significance of the Site. The building does this by assuming a modest position in the historical Dorp Street scape. The new double story façade is half hidden behind an ancient oak tree and its timeless aesthetics allows it to blend with the historical buildings on either side and across the road.

The street façade is punctured by a high, carefully proportioned gateway opening, taking its reference from the neighboring historical building. The tall, frameless glass doors in the gateway ensure constant visual interplay between Dorp Street activities and the gallery space. The “heritage – Green” laser-cut steel security gate is also take their reference from similar “waenhuis” doors in Dorp Street.


To preserve the sensitive archaeological nature of the area we decided to keep the original structure’s footprint and to re-use and raise the existing walls. A new flat concrete roof was to replace the existing hazardous asbestos clerestory roof. The new height allowed for a dynamic double volume space in which a two- thirds mezzanine level was inserted. The mezzanine houses the architecture studio overlooking the gallery/boardroom space below.

The silver-shaped space allowed the architectural practice upstairs to follow a gallery-type layout for the workstations. Natural light is invited to penetrate deep into the work space through strategically placed skylight in the roof and through the glazed south façade, which also allows magnificent views onto the Helderberg and Hottentots mountain range. Due to space constrains, the walls are lined with floating shelves with house the library, files and the archives, creating a functional and interesting working interior.

Raw unpainted finishes and simplified detailing are used throughout, creating an interesting and contrasting backdrop for the artwork and events to be held in this space.

The concept of the gallery/board room is to be a multi- purpose space. A few features were conceptualized to allow fro variety of use:

-the Dutch gantry or “hosting beam” on the street façade from which a banner/mobile/flag/etc. can be suspended to promote the activities within,

-the fully interchangeable LED lighting system which can be adapted to accommodate any artist’s preferences,

– a very prominent “feature wall”, visible from the street, dedicated to specific event by allowing the exhibiting artist to brand it in his/her own identity.