26'10 south Architects is an award winning practice based in Johannesburg, South Africa formed by Anne Graupner and Thorsten Deckler in 2004. The practice brings together essential conceptual design skills as well as technical expertise needed in addressing small, medium and large-scale architectural and urban design projects.
Our projects are located in diverse geographical as well as social and economical scenarios. We are equally ‘at home’ in the inner-city, the suburb, informal settlements and the open landscape. By incorporating critical inquiry and research into the design process each site, client and budget is carefully considered. Constraints are thus treated as design generators. The diverse skills within the practice ensure that architectural and urban design projects can be conceived at a large and small scale simultaneously. This has numerous benefits for clients, especially in the housing sector, where the integrated design and considered repetition of prototypes can impact positively on the costs as well as on the quality and sustainability of human settlements.
Longstanding collaborations have been formalised into two auxiliary practices: kWA Urbanism (active from 2004-2010), which pooled resources on urban design projects and sharpCITY which serves as a vehicle to document Johannesburg and South Africa through exhibitions and publications on architecture and urban culture.
Clients benefit from an intersection of skills acquired in exhibition, interior, furniture and graphic design. In addition 26’10 offers clients an expert in house model making service.
26'10 south is the line of latitude at which our office is situated in Johannesburg. Our choice of name is about committing to this place and embracing Johannesburg's southern hemisphere vibrancy in all the work we do.
Johannesburg represents the South African Paradox at its most acute, confronting us with radical contradictions, unhealed wounds, bitter-sweet memories, utopian visions, mine dumps, lush forest-gardens, strip malls, spazas, villas, shacks, walls, stoeps, BMWs and horse carts. It’s hidden beauty lies in its dry expansive veld, golden, red and ochre earth, blackjacks, cosmos, veldt fires, urban forests, and electric storms.
This city affords us opportunities to engage in human relationships with a range of people and communities broadening our understanding of architecture beyond academic and technical notions. Johannesburg is not timeless or precious. Its contingent nature displays a directness, inventiveness and self-reliance which provides powerful stimuli re-directing the practice of architecture and urbanism into a realm of lightness and responsiveness.
We have allowed Johannesburg to positively influence and challenge our view of architecture both in the local and global context.