WORDS Lindi Brownell Meiring IMAGES Annelize Nel
An exciting design-centric development has launched in Joburg’s Braamfontein.
Called 99 Juta, the revamp project was a collaboration between architects Local Studio, product designers Dokter and Misses, who were responsible for the interiors and finishes, and property developers Consolidated Urban and Play Braamfontein.
“The brief called for the refurbishment of an existing four-storey building at 99 Juta Street,” says Katy Taplin, co-founder of Dokter and Misses. “Little was known about its history as the original plans had been lost and, with it, any record of its original use or exact age.” When presented with the project, the team discovered that the approximately 80-year-old building, which was hidden behind fibre cement cladding and in a state of disrepair, was still structurally solid. “The symmetry of this existing structure lent itself to the design of four similar showroom and office spaces along the north-south axis, on the first and second floors,” says Katy.
These spaces have now become home to not only Dokter and Misses’ new showroom, but also a selection of top South African designers, namely The Urbanative, Joe Paine, Mash.T Design Studio and Monique Vee.
When designing the space, it was important to everyone involved that it not only stand out, but feel inviting to visitors too. “Because we were going to be tenants on the first floor,” says Katy, “we knew that the goods hoist was going to be crucial and at the same time needed to be integrated into the facade of the building. In the end it became a feature with the “99” logo cast into the hoist motor room above the new saw-tooth roof.”
Access and circulation also needed to be considered, encouraging visitors to explore the space and visit every floor. At first glance, that’s exactly what you want to do. The colour palette, featuring combinations of pink, emerald green and yellow, draw you in to the space. “We played around with various combinations but usually ended up back at the pink and emerald green combo,” says Katy. “After deciding on this combination we discovered that the building had once been painted a bright magenta, which had faded to the perfect shade of pink on the building’s northern facade. The colour radiated a lovely warm light back into the inner courtyard at the back of the building – after this discovery we had no doubt that 99 needed to be pink.”
Saying goodbye to the fibre cement cladding, the facade now boasts a tiled exterior, something the team were passionate about doing from the start of the project. “The existing fibre cement cladding just didn’t do the building justice and obscured the all-important window displays on the first and second floors.”
The space will also host a series of pop-ups throughout the year. Currently showcased in the space is a textile exhibition curated by The Ninevites, a ceramic showcase called 99½ vases, as well as the work of local furniture designers, Houtlander.