Inside Hallmark House

WORDS Amelia Brown IMAGES Sarah de Pina

The collaboration between urban developer Jonathan Liebmann of Propertuity and celebrated architect Sir David Adjaye of Adjaye Associates is setting new standards for modern city living in Joburg.

The 1970s building, located in Joburg’s urban regeneration epicentre, Maboneng, has been transformed into a modern mixed-use residential and hotel development with Propertuity driving the development, Adjaye Associates behind the architecture and Aimee Henning of Malica Design designing the interiors.

Propertuity explained the vision, which aligned with David’s interest in context and history: to integrate retail, lifestyle, architecture and design into mixed-use spaces that celebrate art and urbanism, while combining residential and hotel living seamlessly with leisure and business spaces.

“I saw this project as an opportunity to help transform the city and move it beyond the incredible division that too often characterises it, as well as an opportunity to combine an African aesthetic with a contemporary vision,’ says Sir David. “It was very important to me to show that this building could address changing lifestyles. It was about taking one building and rehabilitating it, transforming it into an urban community that can truly address the changing, fluid nature of city life.”

As the building’s 66 m-high silhouette is one of the icons of Joburg’s industrial heritage, David felt strongly that he wanted to “reveal, not disguise its raw structure”. So this was sandblasted, cleaned and exposed as a feature throughout. Over time the planter boxes that wrap around the building’s perimeter on each floor, will form a vertical garden, adding much-needed greenery to the city. The private terraces also connect residents, or guests, with each other – the wooden gates between each terrace can be left open to encourage neighbourliness and interaction.

The 46 hotel rooms occupy floors four and five, while floors six to 15 are residential apartments ranging from 30 to 600 square metres in size. The interior’s attention to detail and focus on local design offers layered, sophisticated and inviting spaces. A rotating exhibition will be on display, curated by Hazard Gallery, as well as Nirox Art Foundation’s permanent collection.

Social areas serve both the building’s residents and guests. On the rooftop there’s a bar, dipping pool, restaurant, spa and gym; on the ground floor, a jazz bar and speakeasy for evening entertainment. A restaurant, coffee shop, conferencing facilities and serviced offices complete the well-rounded offering.

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