David Adjaye Unveils Major Residential Development Planned for Johannesburg


Adjaye Associates has announced plans to transform a 17-floor post-modernist structure in Johannesburg’s central business district into a luxury mixed-use building that will be known as the “Hallmark House.” Scheduled for completion mid-2016, the project aims to “combine an African aesthetic with a contemporary vision” and form a new typology for urban living.

“The transformation of Hallmark House is an opportunity to apply fresh thinking to urban community and to address changing lifestyles with a more fluid approach to the way we inhabit cities,” says David Adjaye.

House Steyn II / Thomas Gouws Architecs + Interiors

© Dook Courtesy of VISI magazine

Architects: Thomas Gouws Architecs + Interiors
Location: Johannesburg, South
Architect In Charge: Thomas Gouws, Sureen Gouws
Area: 510.0 sqm
Year: 2010
Photographs: Dook Courtesy of VISI magazine, Courtesy of Thomas Gouws, Karl Rogers

Interactive Infographic Tracks the Growth of the World’s Megacities

Tokyo remains the world’s largest city, but is beginning to see competition from the world’s other megacities. Image © Flickr CC User Les Taylor

With more than 7 billion people now alive, the greatest population growth over the last century has occurred in urban areas. Now, a new series of interactive maps entitled “The Age of Megacities” and developed by software company ESRI allows us to visualize these dramatic effects and see just how this growth has shaped the geography of 10 of the world’s 28 megacities. Defined as areas with continuous urban development of over 10 million people, the number of megacities in the world is expected to increase, and while Tokyo still tops the list as the world’s largest megacity, other cities throughout Asia are quickly catching up. Find out more after the break.

105 Corlett Drive / Paragon Architects

© Andrew Bell

Architects: Paragon Architects
Location: 105 Corlett Drive, Johannesburg, 2196,
Architect In Charge: Anthony Orelowitz, Carla Soudien, Kate Keightly-Smith, John Peska, Yumna Ismail, Tom Hill
Year: 2013
Photographs: Andrew Bell

House Liebmann / Daffonchio and Associates

Courtesy of

Architects: Daffonchio and Associates
Location: Johannesburg, South
Principal Architect: Enrico Daffonchio
Project Architect: Leigh Maurtin
Photographs: Courtesy of Daffonchio and Associates

Inside Johannesburg’s Infamous Ponte City Tower

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The history of Johannesburg‘s Ponte City Apartments is a provocative one: built in 1975 and designed by Manfred Hermer as the height of luxurious (white-only) living in South Africa, the continent’s tallest residential building soon became a notorious vertical slum, filled with crime and poverty, its signature hollow core re-purposed as a trash dump and a suicide drop.

Since 2001, however, the building has been the centerpiece of a drive to regenerate the wider Hillbrow neighborhood. The building is gentrifying once again – an almost color-coded gentrification as white people move back into the tower, mostly taking the more expensive upper apartments. However, as the video by Vocative shows, in the case of Ponte, gentrification is not as simple as elsewhere: heavy security eases the fears of middle class residents in what is still one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in . As the video shows, there’s a palpable excitement that, finally, the building is becoming a truly multi-ethnic community.

AISJ Aquatic Center / Flansburgh Architects

Architects: Flansburgh Architects
Location: Johannesburg,
Area: 15000.0 ft2
Year: 2012
Photographs: Stephen O’Raw

From Grain Silo to Shipping Container Student Housing

Courtesy of Citiq Property Developers, via Inhabitat

Inhabitat has just featured an unlikely new student housing project in : Mill Junction, a student complex that consists of two former grain silos topped with shipping containers. According to its developers, Citiq Property Developers, the energy and money-saving project re-directs money towards communal facilities, proving popular with students. As a result, Mill Junction, the second shipping-container housing project built by the Developers, may be the second of many more. More info at Inhabitat.

The Armadillo Crèche / Cornell University Sustainable Design

Courtesy of Cornell University Sustainable Design

Architects: Cornell University Sustainable Design
Location: ,
Year: 2011
Photographs: Courtesy of Cornell University Sustainable Design

A Glimpse of Hope for Johannesburg’s Forgotten Ponte Tower

The is a residential high-rise in Johannesburg, with a unique history and now a promising future. It was designed by architect Manfred Hermer in the 1970′s to be one of the most desirable places to live in the city, with an iconic, hollowed out interior, three-story apartments and rooftop jacuzzis. Over time, however, the building fell into disrepair and instead of serving as an icon of extreme wealth and prosperity, it became an icon of poverty and indifference. In still racially-divided , this was marked by the moving out of whites and the moving in of a primarily black population as property values plummeted. It has been associated with high levels of crime, a lack of sanitariness and even suicides, thanks to the building’s hollow core.

Recently, however, the derelict Ponte Tower has received more attention from investors and the architect himself, who doesn’t necessarily want to restore the building to its former glory but wishes to at least make it a decent place to live. The introduction of stringent security has encouraged more open-minded, middle-class citizens to move in, hoping for a profitable return as the Ponte Tower continues to grow in terms of value. Watch this featured video for more on the building’s comeback and what it will mean for its current and future residents.  

Human.Kind Advertising / PPS Architects

© Lizl Sheridan

Architects: PPS Architects
Location: Johannesburg, South
Year: 2013
Photographs: Lizl Sheridan

House Mosi / Nico van der Meulen Architects

Courtesy of

Architects: Nico van der Meulen Architects
Location: Johannesburg, South
Area: 731 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Courtesy of Nico van der Meulen Architects

House Ber / Nico van der Meulen Architects

© Barend Roberts

Architects: Nico van der Meulen Architects
Location: Midrand, South
Interior Design: M Square Lifestyle Design
Year: 2012
Photographs: Barend Roberts, David Ross, Victoria Pilcher

115 West Street Building / Paragon Architects

© Andrew Bell

Architects: Paragon Architects
Location: ,
Area: 100,000 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Andrew Bell

Westcliff Pavilion / GASS

© Bernard Viljoen

Architects: GASS
Location: , South
Architects: Georg van Gass, Clare J. Eisenstein
Year: 2012
Photographs: Bernard Viljoen

6th 1448 Houghton ZM / SAOTA

© Adam Letch

Architects: SAOTA – Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects
Location: , South
Project Team: Greg Truen & Ina Fourie
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Adam Letch , Elsa Young

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The Soweto Theatre / Afritects

Courtesy of

Architects: Afritects
Location: , South Africa
Project Architects: Clara Cruz de Almeida and Tatenda Mavunga
Company’s Owner: Laurence Chibwe
Project Team: Sergio Duarte, Tony de Oliveira
Completion: May 2012
Total Area: 5,900 sqm
Client: Johannesburg Property Company (JPC
Photographs: Courtesy of Afritects

Optic Garden / 26’10 south Architects and Maja Marx

© John Hodgkiss

The Optic Garden functions as a sculpture on a traffic island celebrating the 2010 World Cup and marking one of the major routes to the inner-city match venues. The project was commissioned by the Development Agency as part of a citywide public art program leading up to the 2010 World Cup.

Be sure to take a look at the video, drawings, and photographs following the break.

Architects: 26’10 south Architects
Project Team: Anne Graupner, Thorsten Deckler, Stephen Reid, Carl Jacobs, Sue Groenewald
Artist: Maja Marx
Photographs: John Hodgkiss