Braamfontein Gate consists of 400 residential units, a rooftop event space, retail units, a coffee shop, a business centre, a gym, an action court and a swimming pool. It involves the recycling of the former Total oil company headquarters into a village of 400 homes and various public amenities. The project is illustrative of the quote by Joseph Campbell "if you want to see what a society really believes in, look at what the biggest buildings on the horizon are dedicated to." This is the tallest building in Braamfontein and there is much excitement for it to become the symbol of a new future for the city, which moves away from soulless capitalism and towards a more neighbourhood-based economy and society.
This commission arose through the relationship that developed when Local Studio built offices for Urban Task Force in Hillbrow. The design process was essentially two-fold. On the one hand, Local Studio looked at the most efficient way to structure the existing deep office floor plates into at least 12 housing units per floor. On the other hand, efforts were dedicated towards restructuring the ground floor space to become a welcoming public piazza and communal facility for residents. Another important design consideration involved the replacement of dark glass sun shades on the exterior of the building with white chromadek panels to form a ballustrade for new balconies created for each unit.
The project is currently under construction and is so far doing well. The first round of residents moved into the building at the beginning of August 2016. The biggest challenge thus far, from a design perspective, has been working with the very deep, south-facing floor plates.