“We can never compete with what nature has sculpted, our job is simply celebrating its beauty.”
KUBE architecture was approached by Mouton Citrus to develop a new citrus packing facility. The 10 000m2 Sunrise Packhouse is located just outside Citrusdal, +/- 200km from Cape Town. The architects had previously developed an affinity for the area after working on the alterations and additions to the existing Mouton packing facility. When the opportunity arose to develop a new green fields project, they were able to draw on their experience and knowledge of local conditions.
Programmatic challenges included the integration between the flow of personnel with that of the packing processes: fruit coming in from the orchards, packing and staging of the fruit, box folding and storage and lastly the dispatching of the packed produce from the facility. High priority was placed on the use of natural light and ventilation which brought its own challenges such as dust management and a careful consideration of the prevailing winds. The design also had to cater for the implementation of alternative resource strategies such as solar and photovoltaic installations which had a major impact on the building form.
Once programmatic requirements had been resolved, the surrounding landscape and climatic conditions took centre stage in informing the built form. The prevailing wind blowing down the valley from the south, the northern orientation of the roofs to receive solar generation but most importantly, the majestic sculptural form of the Cederberg mountains. The layering of the mountains themselves was the major catalyst behind the staggered eastern façade.