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 space close to the Central Gauteng High Court. It also includes 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 emphasise the modernisation of the building. These accent points include the large mural on the east wall of the Dunvegan building and cladding of the historical, wraparound pavement colonnade, with a gold-steel fascia. The ‘gold ribbon’, creates a new identity for the development and as a way-finding element, binds the four buildings together in a subtle but legible way.
Work was done in close collaboration with heritage consultants to create a restoration plan for all four buildings, which would be catalysed by the creation of new office suites. Despite the very low budget, Local Studio allowed for several unique interior details, intending to respect the building’s heritage while creating a contemporary work environment. These included gold-painted steel handrails and elevators.