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Faculty Admin Building, Johannesburg

Wits, Law Commerce and Management Department

Typology Educational Location Johannesburg Architects MMA Design Studio Client University of Witwatersrand Completion Date 2021 Built Area 3400m2

The new four storey 3400m2 office block is situated in a historic precinct that formed part of the old Johannesburg showgrounds. It is situated on the site of the old rose garden adjacent to the tower of light built to celebrate the 1936 South African “Empire” exhibition.

Externally the building is influenced by the filigree architecture of the corrugated cladded Victorian buildings but with a contemporary twist. The sides facing the historical grounds consists of an aluminium-clad re-interpretation of the existing historical structures framed by an off-shutter concrete portal and lift shaft.

Internally the client’s objectives were to create a more integrated and cohesive faculty through more visibility, shared amenities and a sense of the whole. This is achieved through a central atrium and circulation spine overlooked by various pause, meeting and social spaces, with offices located within the more private areas. The atrium skylight sheds light deep into the interior and gives dramatic effect to the overshadowing Tower of Light.

The open bridge to south of the atrium links the u-shaped office plates at each level and visibly links the atrium space to the adjacent Science Stadium public square.