The unique new luxury residential development, currently underway on Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard, is a stirring excitement among history connoisseurs and property pundits.
Alpha One is a six-story boutique development rising from one of the last remaining development sites along the Atlantic Seaboard and was once the location of a 19th century fortified battery.
Featuring 16 luxury apartments with uninhibited ocean views across living areas, bedrooms and terraces, the story behind the site on which Alpha One is perched is as unique as the building itself.
Military relic unearthed
During construction, a rare military relic a – ‘disappearing gun’ – was unearthed from below a derelict swimming pool which stood on the site. Buried for almost 100 years, this disappearing gun is said to have been brought to the Cape in 1885 during a brief period of tension between Britain and Russia.
Simon Bridges, Managing Director of Elemental, the bespoke property development company who are the owners of Alpha One, explains that the project began in August 2018.
“We were aware of the remnants of the Sea Point Battery under the site but did not know the extent, or indeed what would be found remaining. Once the structures above ground were demolished, we brought in an archaeological team, as well as geotechnical engineers, to ensure that the battery structure was safely unearthed and documented, without damaging it.”
What followed was a three-month process whereby the gun emplacement was exposed and the extremely hard clay dug out by hand, with experts carefully documenting and archiving the discovered relics.
“Our preservation and restoration plan, which was approved by Heritage Western Cape, saw the historical battery remnants being incorporated into the new development – in fact the entire design of the building centres around the battery.”
History meets boutique
The now restored gun forms an integral part of the new building and features front and centre as a glass enclosed exhibition in the beautiful communal central lounge and wine-tasting area.
Bridges says a network of underground tunnels and ammunition storage rooms was also unearthed, and these are being restored and repurposed into a wine cellar, with dedicated tasting areas and private wine lock-ups for each Alpha One resident.
“During the excavations we exposed surviving paintwork on one of the tunnel entrances which gave this mysterious military site a name: the battery had been known as Alpha One and it was only fitting to keep this name for the new development.”
Alpha One will also feature a communal rooftop leisure deck with a swimming pool, lounge and braai area that boasts some of the best 360 degree views in Cape Town, looking over the ocean towards Robben Island and taking in stunning mountain views.
Once completed, the two and three bedroomed apartments at Alpha One – priced between R7.9 and R17.250 million – will feature oak flooring throughout, integrated SMEG appliances, underfloor heating in the bathrooms, high-speed fibre and Wi-Fi, full smart home integration, 24 hour security with biometric access and remote CCTV surveillance, LED lighting, and rainwater harvesting.
Alpha One will also have its own off-grid back-up power generation capacity and multiple parking bays for residents.
“Not only does the elevated location of this luxury building set it apart from others, but its design, with innovative communal living spaces, as well as the seamless integration of its historical past make Alpha One a definite one of a kind,” said Lloyd Evans and Natacha Neuburger, the Dogon sales agents for Alpha One.