Established in 1953 by Laurie Wale, a pioneer in South Africa’s building industry, The Building Centre is a permanent exhibition space , giving members of the building trade (architects, builders and renovators), as well as homeowners, an opportunity to view available building products before making purchases.
At the outset, Laurie Wale founded the Architect and Builder Magazine, an architectural journal. Suppliers of building products would visit him and leave samples of their product with Laurie to show to architects. These would lie around on shelves collecting dust. As a result, he decided to create a permanent exhibition space where architects could view these products. Initially known as the “Advertising Centre”, The Building Centre has since expanded its scope, now serving as an informative venue for architects, builders, developers and the general public.
Currently owned and operated by Jamie Heathcote-Marks and his business partner, Laurie Wale’s daughter, Cheryl Neave, the centre features over 100 South African companies operating in the commercial and residential construction industries. Previously frequented primarily by industry insiders, the centre’s new position at the Northgate Estate in Ysterplaat, Cape Town, has made it accessible to a significantly broader clientele. All visitors to The Building Centre have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with a wide variety of products, and are afforded complimentary access to an extensive product database, drawing on 60 years of refined research.
The Building Centre is also home to Eco Exhibit, a separate initiative founded by Cheryl’s daughter Rayne Neave, which gives developers and builders an opportunity to view and assess the various “green” products and services available on the market.
Additionally, information is freely available from the centre’s well-trained staff onsite or telephonically.
The Building Centre is open from 9am – 4pm during the week, and from 10am – 3pm on weekends. Entrance is free of charge.