Situation East

CLIENT: Propertuity

PROGRAM: Housing and retail


LOCATION: Jeppestown, Johannesburg, Gauteng

BUDGET: R16 million

Architect | Local Studio
Engineer | Greene Consulting
Contractor | Supacubed
Quantity Surveyor | Ethiqs



Situation East is a conversion of a former garment workers factory into residential apartments. Like many industrial buildings in this part of the city, the building is characterised by very deep floor plates and quite a flimsy structure, making traditional apartment typologies and construction methodologies impossible. The design therefore called for innovative ways to bring natural light and ventilation into the space while maintaining the market feasibility of the project. Apart from the internal renovations, the intervention included a staggered fifth and sixth storey of the building as well as a roof garden, housing a sculpture by American artist, Sam Chermayeff.

Propertuity had previously worked with one architect across all their developments. After that relationship ended, Local Studio were asked to complete the project. Local Studio's involvement eventually constituted a complete redesign of the project. Apart from the efficient restructuring of the internal space, details of which were largely governed by the material, imison, Local Studio placed a lot of emphasis on the exterior elements of the building. These exterior elements included breezeblocks where the facade was punctured, to bring natural ventilation to passages, as well as various contrasting textures and colours for the new rooftop addition. Apart from the pylonesque artwork, the building is given its character by a large triangular screen wall, designed to create a visual connection between the two levels of the rooftop addition. 

The project is highly complex. It has experienced a change of architect twice, project manager three times, engineer twice and contractor twice. This has had a major negative impact on the quality of detailing and the general feasability of the project. Considering this, however, the building is still a striking, engaging node in the Maboneng Precinct.