Maboneng Rivers of Steel

Name Maboneng, Rivers of Steel
Client Propertuity
Location Maboneng, Johannesburg
Status Ongoing

The residential building is twelve stories in height and will be constructed in the new Maboneng district in Johannesburg, adjacent to the highway leading out of the city. The site measures 30 by 30 meters.

The design is based upon a typology derived from the housing slab blocks of early modernism. Within the typology of the slab block a wide variety of different apartment types is envisaged – in all eight types have been developed which range from small studio apartments of 25 square meters to larger loft apartments of 35 square meters to a double volume penthouse of 100 square meters.

The range of accommodation has been derived from a careful study of housing needs and demand in the inner city. It is clear that if we are to transform our cities we need to build affordable housing at high densities in the city.

The facade is designed to reflect the multivalent character of the accommodation – the double volume units are located at the top and bottom of the block – the smaller single storey mix of units is located in between these two sets of units. These units are randomly placed in relationship to each other to provide a new reading of this kind of building and to imbue the facade with both specificity and randomness. It is hoped that this formal strategy will upset the expectation that many people have of the modern slab block and that we can breathe new life into a building typology which has been long abandoned.

Formally, the intention is to make the vertical face of the building to appear as if the individual units have been carved out of the building mass. The sharp shadows cast by the north sun on the principal facade will reinforce the character of the facade.