The Newtown precinct within Johannesburg is currently undergoing a major transformation. The Precinct offers an ideal location for the delivery of housing. Newtown’s locality and proximity to the CBD offers accessibility to transportation, public and social facilities as well as work opportunities. The existing built form is of a varied nature, consisting of a mix of historical buildings, light industrial shed structures, railway buildings, a retail strip, social facilities and apartment blocks.
Urban design Principles
The existing resources of land and services were efficiently utilized in this medium to high-density residential development. The spatial layout of these buildings define defensible and recreational space. The buildings respond appropriately to city streets as public spaces while defining a gradient of privacy for its inhabitants.
Architectural Design Approach and Objectives
The buildings define boundaries of the site responding to their street edges. The balconies overlook the public street while the inner courtyard creates a more private space. The development consists of 108, one and two bedroom residential units.
This phase consists of 18 residential units. The development ensures that the existing prison cell block is recognized as a historic and socially relevant landmark. The architect and S.A.H.R.A. ensured that the development has been recognized as a conservation project and notes the historic significance of the site.
Phase 3 is located on a narrow strip of land along the eastern side of the High Street. It plays an important role as an infill building. The design provides two faces to the building in acknowledgement of its neighboring projects. The design of building is linear in form responding to configuration of site, fragmented along its length by building modules of two and four units side by side.
Each block is articulated by a variation of height and accentuated base platforms. The development comprises of 72, one and two bedroom residential units, with minimum circulation.
The units consist of one bathroom and a defined kitchen area which is open to living areas. The development also allows for communal drying areas that encourage social interaction in common areas.