York House

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Client: Urban Task Force 
Appointment Date: 2014 
Construction Budget: USD179,083 
Address: Johannesburg CBD 
City: Johannesburg 

York House comprises an event space, an outdoor cinema, a co-working hub, an action court, a bar and a braai area. Local Studio were appointed on this project to look at communal spaces in a housing development that consolidated all eight buildings in a city block. The housing concept of the work had already been undertaken by another architect. Local Studio’s proposal included a first floor running track which occupied the top face of the sidewalk canopies around the entire city block, as well as an internal route throughout the semi-private spaces of the buildings, which connected various communal facilities, such as a gym, a creche, an outdoor cinema and an action court.


Local Studio’s work with this client originated through the client previously sponsoring the public space for the Outreach Foundation project that Local Studio worked on. The client appreciated the speed and precision of the steel structure and appointed Local Studio for further projects. The design process looked to establish a trajectory of communal spaces as a completely contrasting and legible layer in the building, achieved through colour-coding of various built elements. Ultimately, the design approach was very pragmatic and looked to create a network of useful communal spaces which would create value for the residents and activate previously unutilised areas.

The client has opted to build a small portion of Local Studio’s design, which included the rooftop garden, the bar, the creche and the events space.