SPCNR stands for ‘Southpoint Corner’ and is a workplace development by the student housing company, Southpoint. The building consists of internal public areas, a roof garden, retail units and a restaurant. This is the renovation of a 1960s modernist office building designed by Silverman and Associates, previously known as Heerengracht. The building has historically housed some of the most important NGOs of South Africa’s democratic era, including Lawyers for Human Rights and Section 27. The building owner decided to create a comprehensive upgrade of all the building’s public areas – the stairwells, lift lobbies and passages – and to form several shared spaces, such as a roof garden, a co-working hub, meeting pods and balconies.
The design process sought to create a legible trajectory of communal spaces throughout the building. This was achieved primarily through material choices and the creation of contrasting geometries where the intervention punctures the building’s facade to create, for example, pop-out meeting pods and balconies.
The new second floor roof garden and wrap-around steel mesh balustrade above the pavement canopy have transformed the buildings appearance at street level, and contribute in part to the ongoing upliftment of the area at the hands of property developers like Southpoint.