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BRIXTON STUDIO HOME

The Studio-Home, a collection of buildings and flexible in-between spaces, presents a strategy to economise and derive value from a living / working environment.

The project marks the latest conversion of a set of buildings, which have undergone a continuous process of physical change and re-purposing over the past 100 years – from corner shop to cooking school to student commune and now to architects’ residence and office. Sited in a centrally located, demographically and functionally diverse suburb, the spaces are cross-programmed with work, living and rental functions, generating income and eliminating the inefficiency of commuting in a megalopolis. In order to conserve a very tight budget, the existing structures were harvested by re-using and reconfiguring existing materials and elements. In this way the altered complex enters into dialogue with its own history but also its immediate surroundings through the geometry of the new pitched roof and corrugated southern wall monumentalising the material of Johannesburg’s early mining days. A ‘floating’ balcony provides scale and threshold similar to the Victorian veranda once ubiquitous in the area. By capturing the intense Highveld light and framing views of distant horizons and landmarks, the arrangement affords a distinctly Johannesburg living experience.

Project team: Thorsten Deckler, Anne Graupner, Lara Wilson, Nzinga Mboub, Shameema Davids, Thulani Rachia, Alex Howell, Guy Trangos, Stephen Reid

Featured in Backstage Architecture Award www.backstage-architecture.org
Photographed by Nic Huisman