Linbro 5A.1: The Citadel

CLIENT: Adamjee Group

PROGRAM: Mixed-use development

INITIATED: 2016 | COMPLETED: Masterplan

LOCATION: Linbro Park, Johannesburg, Gauteng 


Architect and Urban Designer | Local Studio
Town Planner | VBH Town Planners
Transport Engineer | TTT Africa
Quantity Surveyor | KDM
Project Manager | AMPM




Linbro 5A.1: The Citadel consists of medium- to high-density housing (±400 residential units), a shopping centre, a filling station, a gatehouse and a light industrial complex. This is one of five neighbourhood plans that make up Local Studio's masterplan for precinct 5A in Linbro Park, which is identified as a precinct in its own right within Linbro Park's marsterplan commissioned by the City of Johannesburg (COJ). The plan presents a challenge in that this is generally considered a middle class area, meaning that any new roads and public space interventions proposed by the city have to be paid for by private developers. Adamjee are one of the most forward-thinking developers working in this area as they are interested in investigating in new urban typologies, which create active street edges while retaining security for residents. The majority of other developers, like Balwin, have paid very little attention to the guidelines prescribed in the COJ masterplan and are developing standard gated communities, which do nothing for the public realm. 

Local Studio have a long-standing relationship with the Adamjee Group, having completed several successful projects with them over the last three years. The design of 5A.1 takes a hopefully dystopic stance to urban design in beginning with the design of the boundary wall of the development, which is transformed as an elevated walkway, which strikes a relationship with the sidewalk. This walkway wraps around the entire perimeter of the site, creating a promenade for residents to access 5-storey residential units, which feed off of it. The greatest innovation in the building is the hybridisation of a traditional estate gatehouse and a stripmall to create a 24-hour active node at the perimeter. A second gatehouse is situated at the east edge of the site, which doubles up as a filling station. The development funtions very much like a medieval walled city with high-density housing at the perimeter and lower-density free-hold stands at the centre. The development also includes a triangular park at the absolute centre. Challenges of the project relate to the design for crime that Local Studio believe they have overcome through innovation in collaboration with Monique Marks, a South African criminologist.