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.  

Head Road 1815 / SAOTA

©

Architects: SAOTA – Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects
Location: Fresnaye, , South Africa
Project Team: Philip Olmesdahl, Stefan Antoni
Interior Decor: Client
Year: 2007
Photographs: SAOTA

Human.Kind Advertising / PPS Architects

© Lizl Sheridan

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

Cove 6 / SAOTA – Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects

© SAOTA

Architects: SAOTA – Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects
Location: Pezula, Knysna,
Project Team: Stefan Antoni, Greg Truen & Johann van der Merwe
Year: 2008
Photographs: SAOTA

St Leon 10 / SAOTA – Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects

Courtesy of

Architects: SAOTA – Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects
Location: Bantry Bay, Cape Town,
Architects In Charge: Stefan Antoni & Philip Olmesdahl
Interior Design: Antoni Associates – Mark Rielly
Year: 2008
Photographs: Courtesy of SAOTA

Podium at Menlyn / Boogertman + Partners Architects

© Michael Schmucker

Architects: Boogertman + Partners Architects
Location: ,
Area: 22,000 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Michael Schmucker

Clifton View 7 / Antoni Associates

© Adam Letch

Architects: Antoni Associates
Location: Clifton, ,
Interior Architecture: Mark Rielly
Interior Decor: Adam Court
Year: 2012
Photographs: Adam Letch

POD / Greg Wright Architects

© Kate Del Fante Scott

Architects: Greg Wright Architects
Location: ,
Year: 2012
Photographs: Kate Del Fante Scott

House Mosi / Nico van der Meulen Architects

Courtesy of

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

Plett 6541+2 / SAOTA

Courtesy of

Architects: Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects
Location: The Robberg, Plettenberg Bay, Garden Route,
Design Team: Stefan Antoni, Philip Olmesdahl, Bobby Hugill
Interior Design: Daniela Priebatsch, Emi Cavalieri
Year: 2010
Photographs: Courtesy of SAOTA

House Ber / Nico van der Meulen Architects

© Barend Roberts

Architects: Nico van der Meulen Architects
Location: Midrand,
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

Freedom Park, Phase 2 / GAPP + Mashabane Rose Architects + MMA

© Simon Bird

Architects: GAPP + Mashabane Rose Architects + MMA
Location: , Gauteng, South Africa
Area: 11,000 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Simon Bird

Freedom Park, Phase 1 / GAPP + Mashabane Rose Architects + MMA

© Graham A. Young

Architects: GAPP + Mashabane Rose Architects + MMA
Location: , Gauteng,
Year: 2008
Photographs: Graham A. Young

Head Road 1816 / SAOTA

© Adam Letch

Architects: Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects
Location: Fresnaye, ,
Design Team: Philip Olmesdahl, Stefan Antoni, Tamaryn Hammond, Mark Bullivant
Interior Decor: Maxine Olmesdahl
Year: 2011
Photographs: Adam Letch

Westcliff Pavilion / GASS

© Bernard Viljoen

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

Glen 2961 / SAOTA

© Adam Letch

Architects: SAOTA - Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects
Location: Oranjezicht, , South Africa
Design Team: Philip Olmesdahl, Stefan Antoni, Kate Del Fante
Year: 2012
Photographs: Adam Letch

6th 1448 Houghton ZM / SAOTA

© Adam Letch

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

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