Travel across Johannesburg and you will notice something that wasn’t there before – a new skyline to match the city’s iconic one.
The City of Gold is busily building a new skyline as international law and insurance firms vie with each other and the big banks for the swankiest new headquarters in the new business districts of Sandton and Rosebank.
They are joined by property developers rushing to erect residential and mixed-use properties to provide places for all those executives to live.
While it is likely that nationally office space development will continue to slow, Sandton accounted for 31% of national office space development in the final quarter of 2017, according to the South African Property Owners Association December 2017 (Q4) report.
There are 10 “nodes” nationwide, the association says, that account for 92% of office development taking place in South Africa. Gauteng dominates this list.
There are so many developments going up in Sandton and Rosebank it is difficult to create a shortlist, but here goes:
Corner Rivonia Road and Katherine Street, Sandton.
This 87 000m2, glass-clad building recently received a five-star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA).
"The building is wrapped around a series of sunlit atria that plug into a central concourse,” part-owner Growthpoint says in a statement. “The design of the atria and skylights results in an abundance of natural light without compromising occupants’ comfort and energy performance. Grey- and rainwater systems, efficient sanitary fittings, an efficient irrigation system and water-wise landscaping contribute to the building’s optimal water performance."
Corner Rivonia Road and Maud Street, Sandton.
Clad in striking gold and black, The Marc (on the left in the picture) is set to be completed in March 2019.
This R2-billion, twin-towered redevelopment of the Village Walk complex will, among others, contain a ground-floor retail centre, a gym and medical suites.
The building has a GBCSA four- and five-star Green Star rating (there are two separate towers) for the environmental sustainability of the design, construction and management.
Oxford Road, Rosebank.
The Rosebank Link is a 15-storey development with ground-floor retail space, five parkade levels and eight storeys of rentable office space. It will allow pedestrian access to Rosebank’s Gautrain station, The Zone@Rosebank and Rosebank Mall.
The development has a four-star Green Star rating in its sights.
50 Katherine Street, Sandton.
Petrochemicals company Sasol’s shiny new headquarters claim to boast Africa’s largest rooftop garden, and have a gym, cafes and an art gallery.
Sasol has consolidated 17 separate office buildings – scattered across Gauteng – into one mega-building. It has a five-star Green Star rating, as well as generators that mean it is totally independent of the electricity grid.
27 Bath Avenue.
One of the more unusual developments is that of Rosebank’s fire station. ARC Architects worked with the Provincial Heritage Resources Authority Gauteng to make sure the fire station, one of Rosebank’s oldest buildings, was preserved while the site was developed.
When complete the development will house offices.
“The historical fire station building was constructed in 1935, and forms part of the narrative of Johannesburg’s unique city history,” developers ARC Properties and Tricolour Investments say on their website. “Courtyards and small staircases spill out from the building onto the sidewalks, and lively shops and restaurants create a vibrant atmosphere around the building.”