Africa’s Most Enviable Address.

Hallmark House on Joburg’s Eastern CBD ushers in a new era of luxury urban living and a new future for the city.

Published: May 2017
Video/Photos: SUPPLIED

Ten years ago, when the first seeds of urban renewal on the eastern side of the Johannesburg CBD were planted with the creation of Arts on Main, it wasn’t clear that the five industrial sheds would explode into the phenomenon that is the Maboneng Precinct. Its developers, Propertuity, now own more than 50 buildings in the area and Maboneng is studied worldwide as an example of urban regeneration.

 

Part of the genius of the precinct is that it combined its strategy of art-driven urban transformation with mixed-use development. This resulted in people actually living there, giving life to the streets, bars, shops and restaurants all week long, rather than merely making it an events-driven weekend destination.

 

Maboneng’s renewal hinged on young creatives driving a new urban future. Ten years later, Maboneng is home to a multimillion-rand development positioned as “the most desirable lifestyle space on the African continent”.

 

Hallmark House opened earlier this year: a new state-of-the-art building and hotel with 24-hour manned security, secure parking, high-speed internet over fibre optics, art installations throughout all spaces, a gym and, of course, instant access to all the excitement of the area. The hotel has 46 apartments on two storeys and also runs a concierge service for the residents’ apartments. There are two restaurants – one on the ground floor and another on the rooftop.

“The transformation of Hallmark House is an opportunity to apply fresh thinking to urban communities and to create a new typology that reflects changing lifestyles and a more fluid approach to the way we inhabit cities.”
  –  David Adjaye, Adjaye Associates

“The transformation of Hallmark House is an opportunity to apply fresh thinking to urban communities and to create a new typology that reflects changing lifestyles and a more fluid approach to the way we inhabit cities.”
David Adjaye, Adjaye Associates

The interiors for the Hallmark House show apartments were designed by Malica Design, reflecting the lines and silhouettes of the surrounding urban metropolis and creating an African aesthetic with an overall minimalist feel.

The spacious, minimalist style of the apartments in Hallmark House feature interior-exterior layouts that frame the surrounding cityscape and iconic Joburg skyline. 
The spacious but minimalist style of the apartments, evident here in the bathroom, is designed to suit young urban professionals, businesspeople and couples looking for an inner-city lifestyle.
The show apartments in Hallmark House combine an African aesthetic with a contemporary vision to create a style that reflects an authentic urban experience designed to suit the changing lifestyles of a new urban community in Maboneng.

It has been designed to rival apartments in similar neighbourhoods around the world. It is spacious and minimalist with interior-exterior layouts that frame the surrounding cityscape and iconic Joburg skyline.

 

These are not gritty lofts designed to be accessible to arty kids, but, as Jonathan Liebmann, CEO of Propertuity, says: “Hallmark House will become the most iconic building in the Propertuity Portfolio.” The arrival of the 66-metre-high landmark, one of the two largest buildings on the east side of Johannesburg CBD, marks a tipping point in the area from an exciting and vibrant node of change to an entirely new kind of luxury, urban lifestyle.

A luxurious living space has been created through a combination of lifestyle offerings that cater to residents and guests alike, including a boutique hotel, a splash pool and a gym.

 

“The rate at which Maboneng Precinct has developed since 2008 is solid proof that there’s a thirst for more world-class regeneration of residential, retail and commercial space in Johannesburg’s CBD,” says Jonathan. “Hallmark House will be meeting that need and more.”

 

Hallmark House is more than just a luxury building. It is an architectural landmark designed, as its architect says, “to contribute to the ongoing regeneration and transformation of Johannesburg’s CBD”.

 

 
A luxurious living space has been created through a combination of lifestyle offerings that cater to residents and guests alike, including a boutique hotel, a splash pool and a gym.

That architect is none other than David Adjaye, OBE, of Adjaye Associates, who oversees a global architectural practice with offices in London, New York and Accra. David worked on the US$360-million Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington DC, which opened last September.

David-Adjaye

London-based architect David Adjaye, OBE, was born in Tanzania to Ghanaian parents. His influences range from contemporary art, music and science to African art forms and the civic life of cities.

 

David says that Johannesburg’s Eastern CBD regeneration is perfectly in line with what is happening around the world, and points at Hackney in London’s East End and New York’s Meatpacking District as examples. “It’s incredibly exciting to be working with Jonathan to re-envision Johannesburg’s CBD,” he says. “The transformation of Hallmark House is an opportunity to apply fresh thinking to urban communities and to create a new typology that reflects changing lifestyles and a more fluid approach to the way we inhabit cities.”

 

“Aside from being a fellow African, David’s indelible trademark of allowing art, music, science and civic life to permeate his ability to transform disused buildings into architectural masterpieces is what drove us to appoint him,” says Jonathan.

 

David has transformed an existing building, originally home to a growing diamond-polishing business in the early 70s, into a richly detailed but minimalist building designed to push the boundaries of Johannesburg’s urban architecture, to “combine an African aesthetic with a contemporary vision”. Key to that vision are finishes of the best quality and interiors reflecting the lines and silhouettes of the surrounding urban metropolis. “In a world where there are so many options and so many possibilities, to be able to have clarity, elegance and a quiet, understated but really powerful environment as your frame is something that I always look for,” David says.

 

“I know that a lot of people will do a double take because you’ll look at this building and you’ll think it is some other city, and then you realise that it’s in Johannesburg, and it’s in Africa,” he adds.

David-Adjaye

London-based architect David Adjaye, OBE, was born in Tanzania to Ghanaian parents. His influences range from contemporary art, music and science to African art forms and the civic life of cities.