Tucked away behind the busy N3 high way in the quiet suburb of Limbro Park, Al Qasr resembles ancient royal Islamic architecture with a contemporary influence. Situated on a two acre stand within the Qurtuba Estate, this 6-storey block, comprising of 110 apartment units, includes serene courtyards, roof-top entertainment areas as well as 185 parking bays in the basement.
The name Al Qasr is a direct translation of ‘The Palace’ in Arabic.
Acknowledging the importance of community and family, Al Qasr was designed by Inkspired Architects with community living in mind by incorporating a common entertainment area on the rooftop, fully equipped with a braai area. The pergolas over the entertainment area cast beautiful shadows on the limestone tile, ideal for summer socials with friends and family. The central green courtyards are perfect for the occupants’ children to play allowing added security as it is in full view of all the apartments, taking the saying “it takes a village to raise a child” quite literally.
Keeping true to the name of the building, distinctive Islamic architectural elements were introduced to the façade design. At the main entrance of the apartment block, a large ornamental screened arch sits within a concrete rectangular frame, merging traditional Islamic and contemporary architectural aesthetics. Ornamental scallop details outline the window frames of each apartment. These are all subtle intricate details derived from the mathematical patterns that inform the Islamic design language and add to the intrigue of Al Quasr.
Concrete balustrades with ornate patterns that resemble delicate paper cutouts are used as a consistent façade feature. One of the most recognized elements of Islamic architecture are the pointed arches which are seen both at the entrance of hallways and selected apartment balconies. An exciting feature, amongst many, in this building, is the irregular shaped staircase. The rigid corners come together like sharp edged ripples but when looking up from the bottom of the staircase, they form a parabolic shape.
Seeing this building at different times of the day is truly a remarkable sight. The shadows cast on the floors are filled with beautiful shapes and patterns encouraging ones imagination to go beyond the Al Qasr walls. Nothing is more romantic than getting a glimpse of this building at night, as the artificial lights beaming through the patterns of its façade with all the elegance and grandeur are a feast for the eyes.