[dropcap size=big]A[/dropcap] look inside the Hallmark House, the first major project of Adjaye Associates in South Africa. The project which is located on the East side of Johannesburg CBD, involves the overhaul and transformation of a 17-storey industrial building from the 70’s in Johannesburg into a modern mixed-use residential and hotel development with a retail component. According to the firm, the modular structure of the building makes it flexible enough for a redesign that will make it fit for residential use. The aim is to “combine an African aesthetic with a contemporary vision”.
Hallmark house — an industrial structure that dates back to the 1970s — is backed by development firmPropertuity, whose founder and CEO Jonathan Liebmann described the project as being the most important the company has worked on to date. Adjaye Associates is responsible for the scheme’s architecture, while local firm Malica designcreated the building’s interior identity. Hotel rooms are found on the fourth and fifth floors, while storeys six to 15 contain apartments ranging from 30 to 600 square meters in size.
Each unit in the building has a private terrace with planter boxes that allow vegetation to be visible from street level. As the scheme seeks to connect both residents and guests with the city as well as each other, wooden gates between each terrace can be left open, encouraging a sense of community interaction. Over time the planter boxes that wrap around the building’s perimeter will form a vertical garden, adding much-needed greenery to Johannesburg’s cityscape.
As Adjaye and his team wanted to reveal the building’s industrial qualities, the structure was sandblasted and cleaned and is now exposed as a feature throughout. Conversely, the interior includes luxurious and inviting spaces establishing a ‘cosmopolitan oasis within the heart of the city’.
‘We are very much trying to show that the inner city is capable of providing the quality of life and greenery that people associate with the suburbs. So, the tower has been designed with a high ratio of outside to inside space to reflect the pattern of outdoor life in the city’. – David Adjaye
The interiors — created by malica design — feature vibrant colors, patterns, and textures — chosen to offer a contemporary and sophisticated sense of African design. A range of shared spaces, including extensive recreational and business facilities, serve both residents and guests, while a roof terrace includes a bar, a dipping pool, a restaurant, a spa, and a gym. The ground floor also contain another restaurant, a coffee shop, conferencing facilities, and serviced offices.