Completed in 1859, the Roeland Street Prison functioned for 111 years, mostly accommodating awaiting-trial prisoners but also death row prisoners for a period. The facility was decommissioned in 1970 and left mostly utilised for about a decade. The Department of Public Works then commissioned what is known today as the Western Cape Archives. The existing prison was demolished save for the perimeter stone boundary wall and the main entrance gate structure. The new archive building was completed in the mid 1980’s and currently serves the public and the Western Cape Government.


Ruben Reddy Architects has been appointed by the Western Cape Government Department of Transport and Public Works to design and manage the construction of an Additional Wing to the archive to resolve the current shortage of archival space and modernise the facility in keeping with current archiving methodology. We also look forward to juxtaposing its historic significance as a prison detaining, amongst others, political prisoners as opposed to its current role in providing both the preservation of~ & access to public information. The project is currently in stage 2 – concept design and will likely commence on site in mid 2018.


We will be documenting the project in Revit but have also convinced the consultant team to do the same. This will allow us to use BIM 360 and Collaboration for Revit, easing information flow and co-ordination through the use of a live, on-line model utilised simultaneously by all consultant offices.


Roeland Street Archives

Cape Town 

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