South Africa boasts some of the most proficient, professional, and creative architecture globally. Looking around us it’s exciting to see the various architectural marvels in our cities. Contemporary designs that surpass the term ‘cutting edge’; traditional designs; and then a national heritage of old buildings from hundreds of years ago, which have proudly maintained their history.
Over One Hundred Years Ago
The architecture in Johannesburg, and in fact across South Africa speaks a thousand words. It defines the main cities as ones of tradition, as well as a symbol for something that is exciting, bold, and culturally diverse. There have been famous architects in Johannesburg for many years. The largest diamond in the world, the Great Star of Africa, was discovered by Sir Thomas Cullinan and his house, built in 1986, is still on display in the leafy suburb of Parktown North, built and designed by Charles Aburrow.
Aburrow was one of many influential engineers and architects in Johannesburg of his time. Herbert Baker was another dominant force among the many architects in Johannesburg. Think of the Union Buildings in Pretoria, St John’s College in Johannesburg, and St. Andrew’s College in the old university town of Grahamstown (now Makhanda) – all designed by one of the best-known South African architects at the turn of the twentieth century.
Another magnificent building is the Durban City Hall, designed by architect Stanley Hudson in 1903 and completed in 1910. The design, with its impressive dome, pillars and gargoyles was inspired by the City Hall located in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Architecture in Johannesburg Today
A century later after Baker’s influential designs, Sandton Square was conceptualised. The idea behind it was to be the Wall Street precinct of Johannesburg. A group of Johannesburg architects called GAPP collaborated with Co-Arc International to come up with the model of this daringly modern precinct. It was designed to offer a town square district in what has become the business hub of South Africa. What was once an empty piece of land has since transcended to a glorious hub of urban design, cafes, shops, and entertainment spaces.
We pride ourselves on excellence and believe in combining superiority with practicality, creativity, the natural surrounds, and style. Call us at JK Designs today and let us discuss your design needs. We can advise you on what will work best and how we can create a beautiful space that is functional and elegant.