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Award Entries



For Intraprop 

Rosebank, Johannesburg 

By DHK Architects 

The 6 Parks Boulevard commercial development forms part of the first phase of the new Oxford Parks precinct in Johannesburg. In addition to designing the building, dhk is responsible for developing the urban design framework for the precinct, the ‘Dunkeld Public Realm Design Manual’, as well as two other buildings and the entire basement and podium of phase one. Arup is the primary tenant of the building, occupying 1 300m2 of the office space.


The building is three storeys with a small portion facing Oxford Road; therefore, the design needed to be unique and eye-catching to passersby. The solution was to establish a distinct facade of fritted glass that features a pattern of trees inspired by Johannesburg’s urban forest. There was a specific focus on the contrast between light and dark frames surrounding the glazed area, which, while complementing the glass, keeps the focus and energy on the spectacular glazed facade.


The building blends the changes in ground floor heights. This level includes the entrance lobby, retail spaces designed to activate and engage pedestrians at street level, and the much-lauded Potluck Club restaurant (previously occupied by Carbon – owned by the same group). This further activates the ground floor spaces.


Photographer: Sean Gibson 



For Leroy Slava  


By Savage + Dodd Architects 

This is the adaptive reuse of a shopping centre located on the edge of the Boksburg CBD for affordable housing.  

Built in the 1980s, the complex consisted of a house, four first-floor apartments, shops and some larger scaled deep space commercial areas. The buildings housed a school and a few shops but lacked commercial connectivity and scale to survive as a viable shopping centre.  

The scale of the centre was 'domestic' in nature, centred around a treed courtyard with covered verandah access walkways. The site was well located in relation to the Boksburg CBD, the neighbouring church and civic buildings. These attributes were seen as positives regarding its conversion potential.  

The existing building form presented both challenges and opportunities. The deep space areas required a strategic spatial approach to break the bigger space into units with adequate light and ventilation. The volume of the existing spaces presented the opportunity for internal vertical optimization of the unit space.  

The units' planning is modular within the existing structure of the double-pitched roof shop unit.

Walkways that open up into courtyards are cut through the deep space area. Parts of the roof have been removed or replaced with clear sheeting over these areas to allow light and air circulation through the area.  

Fifty units are accommodated within the envelope of the buildings, consisting of studio, one and two-bedroom units. The volume of the existing structure is maximized with the insertion of loft areas. The existing four apartments and house have been densified. 

The philosophy of the project is to make good strategic moves that will allow the units to be flexible and adaptable to further improvements. This might mean additional loft floors or enclosure of loft areas within the flexible envelope of the unit, as the client responds to future user and market requirements.  


Photographer: Sean Coutts 



for Intaprop & RDC 

Rosebank, Johannesburg 

by DHK Architects 

In response to the brief, dhk proposed a spatially efficient six-storey building. While following typical hotel design standards and utilising low-maintenance materials such as plasterboard and brickwork, the hotel needed to be architecturally relevant to attract discerning guests and travellers.  

The contemporary building includes two distinct façades. The eastern and western ends of the building feature glass curtain walls with offset vertical aluminium cladding, providing a distinctly modern appearance and allowing for uninterrupted outward views. Meanwhile, the northern façade, which stretches along Rosebank Road, features an attractive yet practical face-brick cladding system. To conceal a necessary but often unattractive element of a face-brick façade (movement joints), dhk opted for a stack bond instead of the traditional stretcher bond that seamlessly incorporates the movement joints into the vertical pattern. The result is a clean, seamless brickwork façade that can effortlessly take the punched framed windows on board.  

The entire ground floor of the building has been fitted out with glazed frontage and the high ceilings are supported with robust concrete columns. The main entrance on the prominent corner site opens onto busy Oxford Road with a grand full-height entrance canopy highlighted with suspended halo pendant lights. Once inside the building, guests are greeted by an expansive ground floor reception area, open-plan restaurant and bar. The building boasts various meeting rooms and conference facilities in keeping with the contemporary Radisson RED theme. Each floor includes 26 standard rooms on either side of a central corridor with staircases on either end. A rooftop terrace with bar and red-tiled lap pool offers exceptional views across the ridge to Westcliff and Northcliff beyond.  

The building’s dialogue with the surrounding buildings and the dynamic nature of the area paves the way for the area to become a hub of social and commercial activity.


Photographer: Tristan Maclaren 



For Nike South Africa 

By C76 Architecture and Design 

The design of the facility aimed to be self-sustainable & robust, attracting engagement beyond sports and was envisioned to be a safe and freely accessible asset in the area. 

During the design process, consultations with community members resulted in the addition of a new community hub. The space includes a professionally designed skatepark, basketball courts, five-a-side soccer fields, an athletics oval, a cross-country running track surrounding the centre, and kiosks in the social yard.


The interior of the building originally consisted of offices and wasn't generally accessible to the public. Most of the interior was stripped to create two dance studios, a boxing studio, a gym, as well as a makers' studio. On the lower ground level, locker rooms, team strategy rooms, shower facilities and the all-important tunnel for athletes to run out onto the field were also reimagined and custom-designed. 


With the use of concrete, rammed earth, stone, and glass Shapa Soweto celebrates Soweto's energy and spirit, serving as a home for aspiring athletes and a social haven accessible to all.  


The intervention has been designed with and for Soweto, expressing a 'rough diamond ' sense of untapped potential - encouraging engagement with and ownership of the space.


Photographer: Dave Southwood 




For The Country Club Johannesburg 

By Rebel Base Collective 

The old and dated gymnasium needed an upgrade. Through a process that started with the less elaborate renovation, we were eventually briefed to develop a new world-class fitness facility for The Country Club Johannesburg Auckland Park. This extended into a Padel centre, which integrated into the incredible club grounds. 

With the gym having a significant heritage appeal, it was our job to both challenge and work with its features to offer something new to the old and under-utilised facility. 


The reimagined gym sits within the spirit of the original buildings, not disrupting the old proportions and clipping itself into the Art Deco and Edwardian features. The aim was to create a destination state-of-the-art facility which fits into the legacy of The Country Club Johannesburg. 


The front garden of the gym has been enclosed with a modern addition that respects the existing façade whilst also breathing some much-needed life into the current gym facility. The extension is constructed of two planes of cast concrete flat roofs; one connects underneath the existing top windows, and heritage breeze blocks the other just beneath the roof's gutter line, allowing maximum natural light and volume. 

Rough timber shuttered concrete walls house a water garden, like the patio, with a glazed curtain wall along the entrance. 


Photographer: Gabriel Shamu 




Duduza, Nigel 

By ZAS Architects and Planners 

The Client's intention at the outset of the project was to offer the historically marginalised community of Duduza a quality designed, constructed and maintained public swimming pool. A professional team of consultants, led by the Architect, was engaged to offer a full professional service.


The professional team was briefed to support the Client in designing, facilitating, and overseeing the construction and commissioning of a maintenance-friendly facility. The project duration was quite lengthy, just over five years, from November 2015 to June 2021, on account of factors such as disgruntled residents stopping work on service delivery projects in the area from time to time, bad weather and financial constraints of the contractor. 

The pièces de résistance are, firstly, an Adult Pool and, secondly, a Kiddies Pool. The Adult Pool is a half-size Olympic pool known as a semi-Olympic pool. The Kiddies Pool, which is some distance away from the Adult Pool, is 8m x 8m. Members of the public have ample ablutions and change rooms, one for females and one for males, each accommodating 100 people at once. 

Safety assurance is supported through twice daily water quality monitoring, the services of lifeguards - who have lifeguard posts and change rooms, a serviced First Aid/ Emergency Room, facilities for swimming instructors and guardhouses for guards. In support of technical functions, there is a chemical store, a garden store, a chlorine gas store, a pump room, and an electrical DB room. 

Administrative and maintenance staff facilities include meeting rooms, male and female staff ablutions, change rooms, and staff mess rooms. The facility is seasonal and operational during warmer months, typically from 1 September to 31 March each year. 


Photographer:  Zayn Shakh 

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Linksfield North, Johannesburg 

for Tricolt 

by DHK Architects 

The Old Oak restaurant was the final stage of various architectural interventions to upgrade facilities at the historic Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club. These included a new halfway house, sales and marketing office, rationalised conference and banqueting, PGA offices, and a new gymnasium within the existing heritage clubhouse building.  

With its pitched slate roof, the original restaurant building was to undergo a simple upgrade of the existing kitchens and dining space. This brief expanded, however, into creating a signature restaurant (catering for a varied audience – families to fine dining) for use by members and the public.


A key aim was to improve the arrival sequence by creating a broad processional staircase and ramp with linear water features, stone-clad walls, accent lighting leading to the lobby, and a projecting picture window overlooking the reflective pond with a fountain sculpture element.  

Extensions to the envelope of the restaurant take the form of a steel-edged concrete and glass pavilion. The material palette and structure are a counterpoint to the existing building, the crisp extruded slabs designed to provide increased internal space and a floating terrace for outdoor dining. Sliding doors and full-height glazing enhance the indoor/outdoor transparency, taking in panoramic views over the golf course and outdoor patios with their firepit private seating areas. The effect is reversed at night – with the warm interior lit up from within.  

The landscaped forecourt and dedicated play area next to the pizza oven provide a variety of seating and outdoor dining opportunities in fine weather, as well as excellent parental supervision.  

The restaurant takes its name from the much-loved old oak tree that fronted the restaurant for generations. Despite efforts to preserve it, it had to be removed due to disease, but a cross-section set in resin remains inset in the platform to preserve its memory.  


Photographer: Franz Rabe 

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For the City of Johannesburg 

Orchards, Johannesburg 

By Ntsika Architects 

Orchards Clinic is located in the community of Oaklands, along the vibrant Louis Botha Development Corridor, which joins Alexandra Township, the largest township in South Africa, to Joburg city – the place of employment and opportunity.


The facility is designed to mitigate and reduce airborne disease transmission through various innovative systems, including overall layout, patient and staff flow and natural cross-ventilation. The space planning of the clinic was steered by the need to provide design solutions to mitigate health risks within the facility and eliminate stigmas attached to the ill - which have become stereotypically synonymous with public healthcare facilities. The clinic offers comprehensive healthcare services, including tuberculosis treatment, chronic care, antenatal and post-natal care, child healthcare services, HIV care and cancer and prostate screening.  

The building occupies the site's edges, creating a sheltered, light-filled, North-facing courtyard. Robust street edge creates spaces to encourage human interaction and engagement with the local community. The double-storey street façade has minimal high-level openings, creating a backdrop for life unfolding and a safe, surveilled space. Landscaping softens the edge, providing shade.


Orchards Clinic also demonstrates that social, economic and environmental value can be generated for local communities through a holistic approach to development. The project used local labour and provided opportunities for training in safe, high-quality construction skills to build capacity within the community. It is a building that is of the people and for the people.  

The building creates an environment that heals, promoting health, human dignity and justice through simple design solutions. It creates inclusive green and public spaces and becomes a landmark on a very busy and important arterial through the city.  


Photographer: Ncane Maope 

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For the North-West University Vaal Campus 


By Mathews and Associates Architects 

Situated prominently at the new entrance to the North-West University's Vaal Campus, the new Administration building was commissioned to house the satellite campus's general administrative activities and serve as the public's first point of contact with the university.  

As the 'face' of the campus, the building plays an important aesthetic role, conveying the image of the campus and bringing it on par with the two sister campuses, Potchefstroom and Mahikeng. The Administration building is the first in a series of projects to restructure the precinct's fabric, increasing its density and facilitating pedestrian circulation to create a more cohesive, human-centred experience for students and visitors.


The building is placed close to the main entrance of the campus to serve members of the public best, reducing vehicular traffic on the rest of the precinct. Two towers on the west façade serve to orientate the visitor. The towers form the structural support of the fire escapes, but serve a dual purpose as a branding opportunity and landmark for the university.  

The entrance to the building faces an existing parking area and is preceded by a series of ramps that give universal access. The ramps facilitate control of the large crowds the building must accommodate during registration. A generous public entrance lobby leads directly to the student-focused services and provides ample waiting space for visitors and students. The general administrative offices are accessible from the visitors' area, but have been removed from the main hub of activity to ensure quiet work spaces for the occupants.  

Building materials were chosen to respond to the palettes of the existing campus buildings and for pragmatic reasons related to ease of maintenance and upkeep. While maintaining the material palette, the Administration building introduces a renewed design philosophy to establish a coherent architectural language on the campus for years to come. 

Photographer: Jannes Hattingh 

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for the University of Witwatersrand 

West Campus,Braamfontein, Johannesburg 

by MMA Design Studio 

The new Commerce, Law, and Management Faculty Administration Building at Wits University’s West Campus is a four-storey structure housing faculty offices, student services, and research institutes. 

With historical significance, the precinct once hosted the Rand Easter Show for over 75 years (1907-1984), vividly showcasing Johannesburg’s struggles and successes. It has since been thoughtfully transformed into its present-day university campus. The building’s design draws inspiration from the existing structures, featuring a forward-looking trajectory from the filigree architecture of the bandstand to the modernist concrete of the Tower of Light. Filigree details can be found internally in the timber acoustic cladding, balustrading, and ceiling acoustic baffles.


The structure utilizes integrated pipework within the concrete to enable heating and cooling through water circulation, resulting in reduced energy consumption, by Incorporating an energy-efficient thermally applied building system. The roof is entirely covered with solar panels, effectively offsetting grid electricity consumption. Additionally, passive strategies such as natural ventilation, high insulation, and optimized natural light further minimize the building’s environmental impact during its operational life cycle.


Functionally, the building consists of two interlocking L-shaped zones. The private office wing is located in the North East, while the South West houses public social amenities. A bridge connects these wings, forming an atrium with the main circulation stair. The building accommodates nine departments, with shared collaborative and social areas occupying half of its space. A central atrium connects these areas, fostering a unified faculty community. The atrium, illuminated by a skylight, provides natural light and highlights the iconic Tower of Light structure, seamlessly integrating the interior with the surrounding campus and promoting cohesion and connectivity. 



Photography: Tristan Maclaren 



Third Bay Research Centre 

at the University of the Witwatersrand 

Braamfontein, Johannesburg 

Kate Otten Architects 

Our investigation of the existing Science Faculty built environment revealed the under-utilization of the third bay of the Origins Centre. The large volume of the warehouse-like space and operational crane leant itself to accommodate the delivery, moving and storage of breccia (large lumps of rock) from which paleo and paleoanthropological specimens are extracted for study.  

On grade with the street, the lower level was altered to accommodate a library of specimens with restricted access but with a glass front for visibility. The open area next to this space is intended for examination of specimens. Both the storage of the specimens and the scientists at work are ‘on display’ at this level and the ground floor level. Here, the large volume is retained for internal group activities as well as opportunities for interfacing with the public.

The crane and space for its operation are retained. The existing brickwork laboratories on the ground floor were adjusted to suit current needs. Lightweight, cross-laminated timber ‘boxes’ were added to the mezzanine level above to accommodate additional offices, open plan spaces and a large control room to enable live communication with students in the field.


CLT was chosen as a material for its flexibility, its environmentally friendly attributes and that it could be delivered to the site as a flat pack for assembly on site. This meant that the parts could fit through existing openings and that the construction period could be shortened. The natural timber is also warm and beautiful. This alternative building method was partly an experimental suggestion for the university for use in their areas of high churn – wall elements can be unbolted, removed and re-used, thus reducing waste generated from changes to dry wall construction.  


Photographer: Kate Otten Architects 



BioPhy Precinct Post Graduate Centre 

For the University of the Witwatersrand 


East Campus, Braamfontein, Johannesburg 


By Kate Otten Architects 

After a thorough investigation of the existing Science Faculty built environment, we adopted three main design strategies to create an integrated infrastructure plan:  

  • Optimization through better space allocation  

  • Rationalization and upgrade of existing spaces  

  • Extensions and re-development to existing spaces to provide new space  


The lower three floors of the 8-storey Gatehouse building were identified as an ‘easy win’ location for the much-needed post-graduate hub where the most appropriate spaces could be created with the least intervention and cost. A coherent whole was created by filling the gap between the two sides of the building. This new hub contains shared post-graduate lecture spaces, labs and study areas, some cellular office space, a shared faculty boardroom, and meeting rooms.  

Space is graded from public to private and similar facilities are co-located, thus  

• optimizing public facilities in publicly accessible zones.  

• ensuring safety and security through controlled access  

• ensuring fire safety and access to both existing vertical circulation points within the building by linking the floors  

• reducing operational costs by grouping services, e.g. labs,  

• making the environment legible to students, staff and visitors  

Much of the existing built fabric at the University of the Witwatersrand is concrete. We have proposed a language of ‘red earth’ or terracotta bricks for new and infill buildings, making the new interventions visible but consistent, simultaneously adding colour and new life to the fabric. The terracotta brick is a durable, low-maintenance material like the existing concrete. Internal finishes are locally and readily available and robust. Each building floor also looks very similar; we have made this legible by colour-coding each floor differently. 


Photographer: Kate Otten Architects 


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for the North-West University Vaal Campus 


By Mathews and Associates Architects 

Positioned at the heart of the North-West University's Vaal Campus, the new Lecture Hall Complex addresses the shortage of lecture facilities across the campus. It provides the university with upgraded facilities to meet current and future needs. The construction of the lecture halls forms part of a bigger endeavour – to create a cohesive campus identity that improves circulation and optimises land usage with an eye to future developments.  

The complex,  nestled amongst other buildings represents an intentional effort to increase the density of the university fabric. The Lecture Hall Complex contains four lecture halls: three 200-seaters and one 360-seater, with two additional 100-seat lecture halls planned for the future.  

The buildings are arranged around an open internal courtyard or lekgotla. Large Apiesdoring (monkey thorn) trees provide a cool outside meeting area. This space serves as an entrance 'foyer' to the halls and creates a social space where students can gather between lectures. 

The curvilinear shapes of the halls serve an acoustic purpose, but also add a sculptural quality to the campus. The rounded corners reveal several vistas as one moves through the complex.  

The complex's architectural language informed practical considerations and the existing context's materiality. The design concurrently draws on South Africa's rich tradition of masonry construction and the skills of local craftsmen. Although strong reference is made to the surrounding buildings, the design seeks to establish a new architectural approach that will firmly communicate the ambitions of the NWU. 

Photographer: Jannes Hattingh 

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for Curro PTY LTD. 

Randburg, Johannesburg 

by BPAS Architects 

A modern building allows one classroom to flow into the next while incorporating the face-brick element. It was important for the new building to synergize with the older buildings on the property, and we wanted it to belong to the space.  


This was achieved perfectly by having a façade along a busy road to brand the school and to visually see the grandness of the building within when driving past, especially when lit up in the evening. An open amphitheatre space where learners can meet and collaborate should they opt to take the learning outside. This area is flawlessly accessed through a modern cafeteria with a dual purpose for many school events. The interior colour palette allows for an eccentric space for our learners to engage with one another. From open spaces with blue and green accent walls to red staircases on a black backdrop, the learners are proud to call this their school. 


By using face brick as the primary material, hollowed spaces and stepping brickwork can be incorporated, resulting in captivating architectural features. By using this approach, not only is the building's aesthetic appeal enhanced, but it also creates a dynamic interplay between light and shadow, adding depth and dimension. 


Overall, this building allows the learners to experience a learning environment which brings the outside nature elements into the classroom, allowing them to have a break from the digital space to experience nature while having a modern, loving and future-driven learning experience. 


Photographer: Burger Engelbrecht  



For King David Shool 

Linksfield, Johannesburg 

By Hubo Studio 

The design pushes the boundaries of traditional classrooms and creates a vibrant, interactive learning environment that takes education to the next level. Schools today are embracing strategic, colourful designs that enhance students’ educational prowess, and we’re right there at the forefront, pushing the envelope even further.


Imagine this: a block of classrooms where every square meter is a catalyst for learning, where the lines between the garden and the classroom blur into one harmonious space. We believe in breaking down the barriers of a conventional educational setting and creating a smart, collaborative atmosphere for students. 

The Yards serves as a hub for artistic and humanities-based learning, which is why we recognized the importance of fostering an environment that encourages collaboration.


Our classrooms seamlessly spill out into external spaces, expanding the boundaries of learning and facilitating a dynamic dialogue between the inside and outside worlds. This approach strengthens the connection to the natural surroundings and provides a seamless expansion of educational opportunities. 

We aimed to create an environment that fosters excitement and exploration, while effortlessly integrating various elements to enrich the educational journey on multiple fronts. 


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For the University of the Witwatersrand 

West Campus, Braamfontein, Johannesburg 

By Savage + Dodd Architects

The Flower Hall at the University of the Witwatersrand was used as an exam venue. Originally part of the infrastructure of the Showgrounds, acquired in the mid-1980s, the Flower Hall was designed to house the flower displays of the Wits Agricultural Society at the annual Rand Easter Show. It was completed for the 1969 Rand Easter Show. The original Architects were Fleming & Cooke.


Anyone who sat and wrote a June examination in the Wits Flower Hall will recall how cold and uncomfortable a space it was to write exams in. 

The building is constructed as an industrial 'shed' with four modules. The modules correspond to a structural system consisting of four sections of a barrel roof supported on a steel arched member following the plan of the building with splayed walls at these junctions. South-facing glazed roof lights sit between each roof segment, continuing down vertically into a series of side windows at each bay. The building was structurally innovative in relation to its structure and original services that supported its functionality as an exhibition building. 

Essentially, a new structure was built within the envelope of the building. Two new floor plates, one full floor and a mezzanine, were inserted into the Flower Hall volume. The building's functional area for seating is effectively doubled.


In terms of the concept of adaptive reuse of the building, it is acknowledged that the life of buildings is extended by changing and adapting them to other contemporary uses. The significance of the building is maintained by minimizing the impact of change on the physical fabric of the building by balancing heritage requirements and that of a  contemporary working environment. 

Photographer: Graeme Wylie 

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For King David School Linksfield 

By Hubo Studio 

The educational landscape is undergoing a captivating transformation, with schools embracing strategic, colourful, and interactive designs to elevate their students’ academic prowess. One exciting concept that has gained momentum is the creation of a communal learning area where students can engage in educational discussions, expand their knowledge, and truly interact with their studies.


Our innovative design approach utilized the existing structure as a foundation, strategically reorganizing the internal spaces to optimize functionality and flow. Moreover, we went one step further by establishing a seamless connection between the two buildings, fostering a dynamic dialogue between the internal and external environments. 

This connection proved to be a pivotal element, ensuring accessibility to these spaces for all. As a bold statement, we decided to relocate the iconic staircase from its current indoor position to the outside, elevating its already iconic nature. This move adds a touch of architectural grandeur and seamlessly integrates the external spaces with the internal, creating a cohesive and engaging learning experience. 

At the intersection of professionalism and fun, our design inspires and empowers students, transforming their educational journey into a dynamic adventure. By infusing vibrant colours, interactive elements, and a thoughtfully connected layout, we strive to create an educational environment that sparks curiosity, collaboration, and an unyielding thirst for knowledge. 



For the University of the Witwatersrand 

Parktown Johannebsurg 

by Activate Architects 

To address the urgent shortfall and need for student accommodation at the University of the Witwatersrand, an additional wing was proposed to be added to the Knockando Hall of Residence, which would optimise the use of space at the residence. The proposed works upgrade the existing residential facilities better to serve the University’s current and future needs. 


 The proposed intervention includes the construction of a three-story residential block above the existing single-story service podium at the southwest edge of the site. The new residential wing is  

designed as a contemporary intervention within the site; however, the massing, scale and facade treatment of the proposed new building is sympathetic to the existing Knockando three-storey residences and the overall context of the site. 

The new residential structure has been consciously designed to complement and contrast with the original Knockando buildings, forming a restrained but contemporary and playful architectural element against the more rigid modernist buildings. Further, the added residential section maintains the flat modernist roofline. 

The proposed new building and has minimal impact on the significance of this historic Parktown street.  

Photographer: Nhlamulo Ngobeni



Braamfontein, Johannesburg 

for Growthpoint Student Accommodation Holdings 

by GASS Architecture Studios 

The development houses 901 students over 13 storeys in a new residential building, which consists of a variety of unit types, each with a private shared bathroom and kitchen lending itself to an apartment style of living. The units range from 1,2,3 and 4 bedrooms with minimal shared rooms in the overall scheme. In this regard, the students connect with fellow roommates whilst benefitting from a more private communal area.


The existing heritage building has been restored and extensively refurbished to create a communal hub for the scheme with various study and social spaces for different activities and group sizes. The raw, modularised materials of the existing building influenced the new residential building. Concrete, face-brick and colour create a sophisticated yet playful new architectural language, interpreting the geometry of the existing architectural style through a contemporary lens. Whilst the indoor common areas become the hub, the external zones are interwoven between the common and residential areas to allow for constant access to nature. Students traverse the site horizontally and vertically to occupy these break-out, play and socializing areas. Thus, the scheme is constantly activated, allowing more connections between students to develop. The bustling nature of the site location meant it was important to integrate the scheme into the context to encourage street-level engagement. The open piazza was designed for public gatherings and as a spill-out space for the games area. The facility has been designed to be easily converted into a café so that this could, in the future, become a publicly accessible gathering space.


The fully let student accommodation scheme is a testament that not only is student accommodation a necessity in this area but that this proposal has provided an affordable, aspiring and sustainable lifestyle option to these students. 

Photographer: Louis van Zyl 



For Tricolt & Attaq 

Waterfall City, Midrand 

By DHK Architects 

Ellipse Waterfall is the first high-rise luxury apartment development in the heart of Waterfall City near Johannesburg. The four elliptical towers (Phase 1 comprising towers Newton and Keppler) of differing heights create a unique residential complex comprising executive 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom units and multiple penthouse suites. dhk Architects moved away from the traditional rectangular apartment-block design and pursued a more unconventional form. To best use the property's unobstructed views, dhk proposed four separate elliptical towers (the buildings' shape – a mathematical term for a curved plane surrounding two focal points – is highly efficient in terms of its ratio of surface area to internal volume).  

Additionally, the lack of corners (reducing the visual profile of the buildings) was identified as the most suitable form for multiple towers in proximity. Inspired by their mathematical origins, the towers are named after notable scientists (namely, 'Newton', 'Kepler', 'Cassini' and 'Galileo'). The curvilinear façades are complemented by a mix of moveable and fixed screens, which serve to animate the elevations through an ever-changing collage prompted by the sun's movement.  

The towers sit on a raised podium, creating an elevated ground floor with a parking garage and services infrastructure underneath. Extensively landscaped, the podium level includes a central piazza, running track, active and passive parks, lap and leisure pools, verdant gardens and a lifestyle component – The Luna Club – engages residents and encourages community activity. At street level, an elevated forecourt addresses the most prominent corner where retail spaces spill onto the activated street edges to embrace other users from the broader Waterfall City community. 


Photographer: Sean Gibson 



For Andre Krige & Lucas Steyn 

Linden, Johannesburg 

By Two Five Five Architects 

This completed co-living dual house project exemplifies a seamless blend of architectural design and natural surroundings in Linden, Randburg. The location serves as the backdrop for an intriguing juxtaposition of dark and textured finishes that beautifully contrast the vibrant garden. 

The exterior of the houses presents a captivating display of contrasting elements. The combination of dark bricks and bagged plastered walls creates a visually striking facade. Large windows strategically placed throughout the exterior provide glimpses into the inviting interior spaces while establishing a strong connection with the surrounding garden.


The shared garden space becomes a focal point, featuring carefully designed pathways that wind through lush greenery and vibrant flower beds. The play of dark exterior finishes against the vivid colours of nature generates a tranquil ambience, inviting residents to immerse themselves in the serenity of the surroundings. 

Privacy between the houses is skillfully achieved through strategic landscaping and well-designed screening elements, ensuring that each family can relish their own outdoor areas while fostering a sense of community.


In summary, this completed co-living dual house project in Linden, Randburg is a remarkable embodiment of harmonious design integration. The juxtaposition of dark and textured finishes against the vibrant garden creates an enchanting visual contrast. The thoughtfully planned interior spaces, expansive outdoor areas, and the sense of privacy and community all combine to offer a truly exceptional living experience for the families who call this place home. 


Photographer: Paris Brummer 



For Yuvi Jasti 

Bryanston, Johanneburg 

By Rebel Base Collective 

The brief was to design a museum that could later be transformed into a home. This meant that we had to effectively design two buildings that overlapped in a clever way to future-proof services and create enough open space to function as a machine museum.


The client had a collection of vintage motorcycles piled tight in his garage. His passion for collecting and restoring some of the most exquisite design-machines required a space that would be a fitting home for these unique pieces of usable art. 

We often design buildings for people as the primary inhabitants of our work. The opportunity to design a piece of utilitarian art to house a collection of another category of utilitarian art is special to us. The conversation between the building and the machines, the inspiration afforded by the motorcycle design and the subtle integration of shapes and functions into our spaces was a unique experience that went beyond the standard architectural tools and offered us something different to work with. 

The BIKE HAUS is a design-build which is all about the essence of the raw building and how its purity creates a backdrop for an exquisite tale of time. Home to a private collection of vintage motorcycles, the building takes its inspiration from different shapes and elements found in motorcycles and translates them subtly into the building. 

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For Ansi & Reinette Buitendag 

Monaghan Farm, Lanseria 

By Veld Architects 

Amani (Swahili: peace) lies in the picturesque hills and valleys of Monaghan farm in the Rhenosterspruit Conservancy. The context is a sustainability-conscious peri-urban residential estate with progressive rules that allow the natural indigenous landscape to thrive. 

This is the site on which two identical twins chose to come together, seeking to translate their individual personalities, their shared common ground of spirituality, and their love of art to cohabit. 

The principle behind the creation of Amani is the synthesis of pieces. The coming together of humanity, cultures, and spiritual presence to form a whole. The project focuses on nourishing the soul by being grounded in the landscape. It is a literal manifestation of elements gifted by the earth. Harmony with nature. That is the spirit — the very essence of this space! 

The whole. Amani at its core.


The intention was to bring the clients into unity of the mind, body and soul by highlighting common humanity, culture and spirit. 

The twins were encouraged to be involved in the process of making actively; this empathetic response from our side did not just have meaning for them but for us, too. We believe we achieved "ubuntu, " a Nguni Bantu term that translates to compassionate recognition of people as humans. 


Rene Walker Photography 

Aards Photography 


Igola Studio Photography 



For Bianca and Cyle Bellamy 

Steyn City, Midrand 

By Gottsman Architects 

The single-storey concrete home,  nestled within a serene yet affluent suburban landscape, seeks to blend with the landscape rather than stick out. Furthermore, it aims to embody a harmonious blend of functionality and aesthetic appeal, offering an ideal sanctuary for a modern family. 

The design seeks to blend form and function seamlessly. Its architectural elements create a visually striking façade while serving practical purposes. A key reason for using concrete is its robustness, single material application, and ability to weather well. It reduces the need for ongoing maintenance, allowing the homeowners to focus on family rather than a demanding maintenance-driven building.


What sets the house apart in its setting is that it does not try to be something it is not. It is not a three-storey mansion with oversized rooms. Instead, the design focuses on eliminating unnecessary embellishments and embracing a sleek, streamlined look with efficient space planning. In conclusion, the home seeks to provide a living experience where a family can forge lifelong memories.  


Photographer: Rene Walker 

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For Joubert Steyberg 

Waterfall City, Midrand 

By Two Five Five Architects 

House S is a remarkable architectural project situated in the picturesque Waterfall Estate, nestled on the tranquil banks of the Jukskei River. The primary objective of this design was to create a forever home for the client—a sanctuary where they could find solace and forge beautiful memories with their loved ones. The overarching concept for this project was to seamlessly integrate the distinctive characteristics of the estate while achieving a contemporary aesthetic. 

To begin with, the design team recognized the inherent charm of the Waterfall Estate and 

sought to preserve its essence throughout the design. We carefully studied the surrounding 

environment, taking inspiration from the natural beauty of the river and the lush greenery that 

surrounds it.  

The contemporary aesthetic was realized through clean lines, minimalist forms, and the innovative use of materials. The architects employed a sleek and understated 

design approach to create a timeless appeal that would withstand the test of time. They carefully selected materials that would enhance the modern feel of the house, such as glass, concrete, and steel. These elements were utilized for their visual appeal, durability, and low-maintenance characteristics, ensuring that the house remains an architectural marvel for years. 

Functionality was also a key consideration in the design of House S. The layout was meticulously planned to cater to the specific needs and lifestyle of the client. As the architects, we focused on creating spacious and fluid living areas that encourage social interaction and provide ample space for entertaining guests. Private areas like bedrooms and study spaces were strategically positioned to offer privacy and tranquillity, ensuring a perfect balance between shared experiences and personal retreats. 


Photographer: Paris Brummer 

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For Mr & Mrs Nyantanga 

Fourways, Johannesburg 

By Sergio Chinelli Architects 

The house sits on a very steep site boasting a 7 m fall from top to bottom. The Jukskei River meanders right in front of the site, with a beautiful indigenous forest in the background. At street level, the house appears single-storey with direct access to the garages off the street. Pedestrian access is via a floating steel and timber catwalk that traverses a beautiful koi pond. On entry of the house, you flow down into the main open plan living area comprising of the kitchen, dining and lounge. This linear space opens directly onto a parallel space of equal size, the outside-covered entertainment terrace. These open-plan parallel boxes act as a means to frame the beautiful views of the river and indigenous forest. 

Once in the living space, you enter a new world, life in busy suburbia seems to melt away, and you realise you could easily be in the peace and tranquillity of the bushveldt. The private bedrooms are one level below the living level to make the most of the site's fall. All the bedrooms face the view and you enjoy the very best of the northern aspect on offer.  

The house as geometry is essentially two blocks shifted past each other to create a simple L-shape. Shifting these boxes creates corner panoramic windows that open views toward the river and ensure northern light is maximised. The house floats over a retaining wall at the bottom of the site, giving the house lightness and the ability to appear floating effortlessly off the steep embankment. 

The architecture and its natural environment merge in a unified spectacle where the architecture enhances nature and nature enhances the architecture. 


Photographer: Nic Baleta 



For Andrew & Lauren Hart 


By Mayat Hart Architects 

The house, a four-bedroom family home on the Neighbourhood's smallest site, takes the estate's predefined "contemporary barn-style" and strips it back. The archetypal form of the barn becomes a starting point. A cluster of two barns that break down the overall mass and scale of the building is pushed to the edges of the site, creating a protected sun-filled garden space that becomes the house's focus. The two barns, connected by a glazed entranceway, are irregularly punctuated by windows which are either punched into or pulled out of the form, framing the experience of the building and its context. Instead of a polite uniformity to the building's external treatment, the windows express how you live in the space. Small punched windows face the street edge, protecting the interiors of the building, while sliding walls of glass and window seats open up on the north to the private garden space.  

Spatially, the building uses volume and its expansion or compression to define the internal experiences. Intimate low volumes contrast with tall double-height spaces. The double-pitched form of the barn is expressed internally as a reminder of the building's external form, creating expressive internal spatial opportunities.


Materially, the building is true to the spirit of its predefined architectural style. It is made with a familiar, low tech and recognisable material palette and is expressive of how it is made. Traditional profile corrugated iron in contrasting colours is used to clad the buildings, juxtaposed against bagged brick walls and patterned face brick, breeze blocks and simply detailed metalwork.  

In contrast to expressions of opulence around it, the building looks to make a simple and thoughtful home of how the clients live.


Photographer: Papercut 

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For Poly & Craig 

Linksfield North, Johannesburg 

By BD Studio 

This building slowly reveals the ideas from which it was conceived. Ideas of landscape, materiality, light and use are experienced over time and from different perspectives to make a quiet and understated architecture. An architecture comprised of neutral and familiar materials creates spaces that surrender to a sensual experience of space: an architecture that registers use and the passage of time with the poetics of weather.  

The exterior form of the building is defined by two regular rectangular-shaped barns with pitched roofs, single story at the back and double story at the front, separated to form a courtyard in between. Unique to this site are the irregular shapes of the tall chimney and light scoop, geometric opportunities presented by an angled cadastral boundary. 

To witness the displays of light filling the voids and touching the material surfaces of this building as the sun progresses through the sky is truly magical. It triggers a hyper-sensual experience that can be intense, bright, animated, or quietly soft and soothing.  

At night, a fixed uplighter spanning the length of a room causes the surfaces of a sinuous ceiling void to layer light from a single source. The profile of the room accentuates and the brickwork surface, layered with mini shadows, comes alive. The light engages everything!  

Materials are the backdrop, and light, life and time are the show. 

Photographers: Annalize Nel & Siyabonga Kubheka 

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For Mark & Sharize Schaerer 

Brixton, Johannesburg 

By SRS Architects 

The concept for the SRS studio is two simple boxes in a lush garden: one runs north-south and is overlayed by an east-west running box. They overlap at the stairwell, creating patios and parking in the open spaces and void. Through a series of varying windows and views along a route towards the very top, the spatial experience is heightened.  

The building is approached from a narrow driveway from the north or down Brixton's old, somewhat unkempt sanitary lane. The initial approach gives few clues as to the varied spaces in and around the compact building. The low-key and domestic ground floor has smaller windows that frame views of the garden and church spire. A mesh-fronted window allows someone washing dishes to survey the alley and spy on those up to no good! The staircase is washed by diffused light from the large east-facing glass brick wall. The distortion gives privacy to the garden but also provides a sense of being in the tree canopy outside, a wall of colours changing with every season. Further windows frame views of the water tower, Northcliff Hill and Brixton's rooftops and barbed wire.  

On stepping onto the lunch balcony, one is surrounded by greenery with glimpses of the city and hills beyond. In summer, the sky disappears under the Virginia creeper, with the deep reds of Autumn disappearing to maximise sun in our short winters. With the last rise up the lapeyre steps, the roof deck is reached in the highest canopy of trees, giving expansive views surrounded by an amphitheatre of towers and beacons across the city. From here, one can escape the confines of the office, home & suburb to watch sunsets and passing storms. 


Photographer: M Schaerer 



For Mr Vorster 

Houghton Estate, Johannesburg 

By JVR Architects & Interiors 

The brief was to re-think an existing late 1980s Tuscan-themed home, part of a subdivided Houghton development. The existing home was outdated and failed to take advantage of the spectacular views from Munro Drive over the Houghton treetops. 

The client requested to maximise a very small garden space, creating an entertainment terrace with a pool area capitalising on Johannesburg's favourable weather. 

A main bedroom and bathroom, updated open-plan kitchen, living spaces and main entrance all formed part of the final brief from the client.                                                                  

The decision was made to retain the main structure and garage footprint whilst demolishing the existing courtyard, terrace, ornate Italian-inspired garden and boundary walls, which blocked all crucial views. 

A new main bedroom with an en-suite was designed above the existing garage to maximise the breathtaking landscape, which links to a private roof garden which forms the covered terrace below. 

The garden was designed as a spectacular green courtyard with a covered terrace in the middle, allowing for views from the recessed main house. The covered terrace forms the heart of the home as the client regularly entertains friends, family and guests. 

The new entrance was created directly from the public parking area and is linked to the existing house using a gallery space displaying the client's art. 

Some of the faux Italian memory of the existing structure was retained from a costing point of view. Existing embellishments were removed, and the structure was cleaned up architecturally. The existing building was painted in a light neutral colour, contrasting the dark charcoal colour of the newly built addition. 

The new home is a contemporary home for modern living, celebrating its location on one of Johannesburg's oldest roads and ridges whilst retaining respect for its setting and context. 

Photographer: Sarah De Pina 

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The long linear plan gave the project its name, originally designed by architect Patrick O’Brien in the 1980s for his own family. The modernist-inspired house consisted of alternating face brick and glass planes, reaching from floor level up to wall plate height. The lightweight, slim roof, which O’Brien likened to an aircraft wing, spanned the openings with a generous roof overhang. The client saw through the dated and overgrown house they first encountered, appreciating the original features of the home and garden full of indigenous trees. Despite the solid principles on which the house was built, it was in disrepair. Over time, the roof had deteriorated, and the internal face brick walls created a dark interior. The house was expanded for the client’s needs, the garage was incorporated into the living area, and a new kitchen, lounge and dining room were created by re-ordering the existing space. The bedrooms were extended further into the garden, adding en-suite bathrooms. The new additions were made in keeping with the lines and planes of the existing house. Where existing internal face brick walls remained, they were painted over, retaining the brick texture. Only the new walls were plastered, leaving a trace of the original house. The roof and ceiling had to be replaced, but the construction and pitch remained true to the original design. The most dramatic change to the house was the coat(s) of black paint given to its exterior while nestling it subtly within the garden of mature trees. In contrast, the interior was kept light and finished off by the client, who is an interior designer, according to her unique style.  

Photographer” Elsa Young/Bureaux 

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For Mr & Mrs Blazevic 

Parktown Johannesburg 

By JVR Architects & Interiors 

The client purchased Jesmond, a heritage home on The Valley Road, Parktown, Johannesburg, renowned for all its blue plaque heritage properties. 

The original home was designed by Harold Porter in l922, over a century ago. It was awarded with a blue plaque, prompting an immediate response from the architects to carefully apply their minds in contributing to the existing property. 

The existing house required some maintenance and repairs. The brief entailed enclosing the two parking bays below the existing home, creating an additional five-car garage, a covered terrace, and a new pool on the lower garden level. 

The decision was made to have a separate structure not connected to the heritage home, making a deliberate choice not to mimic the old but rather contrast it. 

An existing stone retaining wall (old tennis court) was used as a point of departure. The considerable sloped section of the site drove the design. The garage roof slab of the new structure was designed to be lower than the ground floor slab of the existing home. The view from the existing house had to remain unobstructed and further softened by the planting of a succulent roof garden above. 

The car court level and new structure were lowered to ease vehicle access and allow adequate garage door openings. 

The covered terrace below links with the existing lawn level and was designed as a glass box, creating the illusion that the first floor is floating in the landscape and creating beautiful vistas to the existing garden. 

This project is a precedent that new life can be breathed into heritage homes that need to be adapted for modern-day living. This can be done without removing the heritage value and limiting modem design solutions.


Photographer: Sarah De Pina 



For Nothando Ndebele 

Parkview, Johannesburg 

By Rebel Base Collective 

This project saw us converting an uninspired and overly-added to 1930s Small and Schaerer house atop the Parkview ridge into an inspired and conversational contemporary piece of architecture.


The house had excellent bones, but its original craft had been erased with blocky add-ons and ad-hoc repair solutions. 

For MOD House, we aimed to revive the old modernist house into an open, bright and timeless home with all the conveniences of modern-day life. To do this, we have exploited the original proportions of the building and coupled it with a series of additions that work with the existing to create an elegant conversation between the old and the new.


The new modern additions do not seek to blend into the old but rather add something contemporary that clips onto it. We have opened the house in a way that gives you multiple cross-views between the southern courtyard and the endless views to the north. Although the entertainment area is open, it can also be closed to create more intimate spaces through a series of stacking steel framed glass doors. 

We also had to create both an open and intimate home that could host a gathering of many and not feel like a sea of space for one person to inhabit; our broken-plan style allows the house to do this. Our last and possibly most significant task was to create a space for an incredible collection of contemporary African art that would form a backdrop and act as a gallery to live in. 


Photographer: Gabriel Shamu 



For Embassy of Belgium Delegation of Flanders 


Bailey's Muckleneuk, Pretoria 

By Matthews and Associates Architects 

An unassuming house with a façade previously cluttered by air-conditioning units, small unpractical interior spaces and a dilapidated timber guard house has been transformed into a showcase of Flemish and South African design sensibilities, thereby establishing Flanders in the heart of one of the world's diplomatic hubs.  


The scope of the project was threefold: alterations to the layout of the building, interior design and procurement and a new guard house.  


A new guard house creates a sense of arrival and establishes the identity of the Delegation of Flanders. The guard house, its form inspired by Flemish countryside barns, is a new landmark in the residential neighbourhood. The roof is a prominent lightbox that projects beyond the boundary wall's limits. The dark face brick and galvanised clad base, juxtaposed with bright yellow accents, is in line with the colours of Flanders. Bricks have been laid in Flemish bond (verband), a bond that is synonymous with many of South Africa's historic buildings.


Architecturally, the alterations to the Vlaams Huis intended to open views to the garden, make better use of the existing floor area and enhance the experience of both staff and visitors.  The existing footprint of the building was used, and the interior spaces were opened up to create larger and better functioning spaces. Circulation issues throughout the building were addressed. A key consideration in the design was the accommodation of persons with disabilities.  

Externally, the façade was simplified to establish a more contemporary feel. Existing services were grouped and hidden behind charcoal louvres blended into the dark band painted above the windows. Slim, yellow benches and a sleek potted garden complement the look. 


Photographer: Pieter Mathews 



Venice Architecture Biennale 2023 

an installation in the section titled “Dangerous Liaisons.” 

by Kate Otten Architects 

The golden thread of Johannesburg’s history started some two billion years ago when a massive meteorite crashed into the earth approximately 100kms south of the city, sending debris and gold deposits flying, which eventually came to rest in an arc-shaped ridge radiating from the Vredefort Dome – now a world heritage site. The discovery of this gold in 1886 and the gold rush that followed led to the establishment of Johannesburg and the start of a Dangerous Liaison - between land and people, between great wealth and exploitation.  

Unlike a linear, patriarchal recording, ‘threads’ tells a story that is a simultaneous, intuitive reading of landscape and social geographies, told through age-old traditions of craft and making, narrated by women.


The beaded necklace is an astrological reading of the night sky above the Vredefort Dome, depicting the Milky Way and constellations. Through this reading, the extracted gold is claimed as an African artefact rather than a commodity to be exported abroad.  

The backdrop to the work is a contour map showing the mining towns along the arc-shaped ridge. 

Light from above marks shadows representing the geology of the area on the floor and inscribes them in a circle, defining a space between the floor and weavings. This 3-dimensional, immersive space invites the viewer to experience the piece from above and below, from inside and outside.


This is an architectural piece about the place, context and mode of making of our work. It is intuitive and collaborative; it responds to sensory and sensual clues, the use of colour, light and pattern and the tactile act of making by hand. ‘threads’ offer different ways of seeing, creating new opportunities for making place for the future that nurtures the human spirit. 

Photographers: Kate Otten & SteMurray 

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For Digital Disruptors 

Drieziek, Orange Farm 

By Frankie Pappas Int 

THE IDEA is to shine a light on the high levels of violence against women in Orange Farm, disrupt the GBV hotspot and transform it into a safe space where residents can come together to host dialogues on solutions to address the high levels of violence against women in the area - Amnesty International South Africa.  

The material palette was kept local to Orange Farm - and purchased from the local hardware - bagged brick for the seating, telephone poles for the structure, shutter ply for signage boards and buckets upon buckets of pink paint. All signage was designed and hand-painted by the community members.  

This small structure is designed to offer the community a landmark, a meeting spot, a study space, a play park, an informal theatre, and a dance hall. The magic of the pink spot lies in the genius of its inhabitants.  

In the case of the pink spot, the architectural stimulants are height, colour, light, wifi, seating, and shade, but this is ultimately a building commissioned by the community, designed with the community, and built by the community.  

The activists requested community consultations to ensure the structure had the buy-in of residents. 

The pink spot is a unique response to transforming a recognised GBV hotspot in Orange Farm into a safe place. Its bright pink aesthetic offers a place of hope in what was previously a place of crime and violence. Residents were invited to volunteer on the construction of the installation to ensure it was community-led, and the insanely fast two-week construction time demonstrated that change is possible when people unite on a similar goal. 

Photographer: Frankie Pappas 

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