<div class="ExternalClass151B00AF48044465A5053D892C57BCE0"><div class="ExternalClassA93FA066A73849BEAD45BA7230A327C3"><p>Design empowers the lives and communities of the designers, and weaves a rich tapestry of local stories. It is this message the V&A Waterfront hopes to bring to life with the announcement of its redevelopment plans for the existing Craft Market and Wellness Centre. The Blue Shed, an enterprise development platform, and named for the historical shed at the V&A Waterfront, will see a radical six month transformation not only in its redesigned exterior but also in the curated craft, design and wellness products that will find a home in the new space.</p><p>The V&A Waterfront has committed R50 million rand to the extensive renovation and refurbishment of the Blue Shed, which will see the incorporation of the existing (historical) adjacent building, to create additional retail, wellness and commercial space. </p><p>The Waterfront is the lifeblood of many small scale businesses that use the foothold they are given at locations such as the Blue Shed, the Craft Market and various Barrows to develop sustainable businesses which, as they grow, create additional employment opportunities for Capetonians. Success stories include Naartjie, which started in the Blue Shed and is now an international brand.</p><p>V&A Waterfront CEO David Green said, "Enterprise development is enormously important to us, not simply because we want to see small businesses grow, but also because we have a vested interest in their success. The Blue Shed offering is one of the distinguishing factors from traditional malls. By curating and celebrating local artists, creators and innovators, we are raising their voices to reach the world. We rely on small business to keep visitors coming back by providing the kind of variety, level of craft and inspired design our local and international visitors find so attractive."</p><p>The transformation of this building will see a better use of the double volume heights utilising the existing structure. With the incorporation of the existing historical Workshop 17 space, the market will offer more than 1500 square metres of trading space. A 100m long skylight will ensure an abundance of natural light. On the southern façade, looking out over the Robinson Dry Dock and Table Mountain, corrugated sheeting will be replaced by glass. Brickwork in the gables on the ends of the building will be replaced by translucent sheeting, again allowing natural light to flood what is currently a dark space. A 45m x 45m mezzanine will be suspended from the roof trusses, and will form a socialisation and event space, and offer public access to the viewing decks. The space will see an element of greening with the inclusion of indoor trees.</p><p>Architect Heinrich Wolff has approached the project in a manner that will address the position of the Blue Shed as a physical obstacle between the Two Oceans Aquarium and the rest of the V&A Waterfront, on an urban level. The area will become a natural walkway that would greatly benefit the surrounding environment and provide a far more effective urban connection.</p><p>Current tenants will be relocated to a 900 square metre marquee on the North Wharf during the development period. During this time, a curator will work with the V&A Waterfront to realise their vision of transforming this into a unique retail hub, which is a platform for entrepreneurs, innovators and creative thinkers, representing the best of craft and design in Cape Town, South Africa and Africa overall. </p><p>''Our dedication to small business lies in our commitment to providing a platform for entrepreneurs. Small business represents a small percentage of our total business but with this investment we are affirming our belief in the power of creative industries. In a recent Economic Impact Study, we established the job creation power that small business has and this investment will further enhance this power, '' said Green.</p><p>Visitors to the new space, set to be unveiled in winter 2014, can expect a revitalised craft and design offering and a dedicated wellness area that offers tranquillity and privacy. Wanting a strong focus on high levels of craft, design and wellness, all products will be locally made and / or locally designed, with "local" defined as within Africa. The design will be innovative, original and creative, reflecting a high level of skill.</p><p>What once was a power station is set to become a powerhouse of design and creativity celebrating the best of South Africa for the future.</p></div></div><img alt="" src="/sites/waterfrontcontent/News%20Images/CraftM_News.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />2014-01-13T22:00:00Z



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