Chambers of Change

CLIENT: Propertuity

PROGRAM: Mixed-use building


LOCATION: Johannesburg CBD, Johannesburg, Gauteng

BUDGET: R20 million

Architect | Local Studio
Engineer | Asakheni Engineers
Main Contractor | Amecon
Quantity Surveyor | Ethiqs
Hertitage Consultants | Brian McKechnie and Candice Keeling


This project is the resurrection of four of the most important heritage buildings in the Johannesburg CBD, which had been owned by a large property fund and mothballed in the mid 1980s. The project creates 145 new serviced office spaces aimed at young black advocates who require satellite office spaces close to the Central Gauteng High Court. It will also include retail units an event space and a restaurant. The exterior renovation of the building sought first to restore the original stucco details to their former glory, but allowed for certain accent points that emphasize the modernisation of the building. These accent points include the large mural on the east wall of the Dunvegan building and the 'gold ribbon' that wraps around all four buildings' pavement canopies.

The commission came about as a result of Local Studio's long-standing relationship with Propertuity. This is one of three projects in the Johannesburg CBD that Local Studio has worked on for this client. Work was done in close collaboration with the heritage consultants to create a restoration plan for all four buildings, which would be catalised by the creation of new office suites. Despite the very low budget, Local Studio allowed for several unique details, intending to respect the building's heritage while creating a contemporary work environment.

The project is still under construction, but so far the building interiors have been transformed very well. Like with most development projects of this nature, the majority of challenges have arisen from unrealistic timelines and budgets. There is also the risk that the buildings will not easily be let by the developer because of limited parking spaces and a largely un-gentrified surrounding area.