R200m Hallmark House to enhance expanding regeneration of Maboneng Johannesburg

Posted On Friday, 20 March 2015 12:53 Published by
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Iconic 17-Floor Post-Modernist Building Becomes Luxury Residential Tower, Hotel and Retail Space


Hallmark House

Siemert Road’s Hallmark House is being transformed into a stunning glass-panelled tower of expansive residential apartments, an all-suite luxury hotel, and a vibrant mix of health, entertainment and leisure facilities. The multimillion-rand development, positioned to become the most enviable address on the African continent, is scheduled for completion in May 2016. Residential sales opened today, with Hallmark House offering a curated lifestyle experience, merging art, design, culture and architecture to appeal to a variety of lifestyle needs. Central to the African aesthetic is the overall minimalist feel, encompassing finishes of the best quality, with interiors reflecting the lines and silhouettes of the surrounding urban metropolis. 

The development will be home to apartments with floor-to-ceiling views of the city and surrounds, situated above a secure access-controlled multilevel parking garage and a ground-floor retail space. Designed to rival apartments in similar neighbourhoods around the world, in a spacious, minimalist style with interior-exterior layouts that frame the surrounding cityscape and iconic Joburg skyline, the apartments are priced from R495 000. They range in size from 35m2 to 300m2, and are available as studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom options, with different-sized terraces and large balconies. 

The studio apartments are perfect for young creatives, while the one- and two-bedroom options suit businesspeople and couples looking for an ideal inner-city lifestyle side-by-side with like-minded urbanists, while still wanting the freedom to lock up and go. Hallmark House will also have an on-site spa, fully-equipped gym and swimming pool, and residents can kick back at the The Grand Café and Rooftop Bar, situated alongside The Bioscope outdoor cinema. Smack! microbrewery and Firebird roastery are additional tenants in the building. 

The development is underpinned by solid security and a high-speed-technology infrastructure, offering 24-hour security staff, an in-house concierge, a biometric fingerprint system, a CCTV-camera system, high-speed internet and wifi. The 66-metre-high modular structure was originally designed by Greg Cohen in the early 1970s to house a growing diamond-polishing industry. Flexible and modular in structure, it was versatile enough to house light-industrial, showroom and office spaces.

David Adjaye, who oversees a global architectural practice with offices in London, New York and Accra, is leading the team to transform Hallmark House. Adjaye is currently working on the $360-million Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington DC, while overseeing a luxury condominium development of the city’s Four Seasons hotel. “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. And it resonates with Propertuity’s core purpose of combining design in all forms with culture to enliven degenerated neighbourhoods,” says Jonathan Liebmann, CEO of Propertuity, the visionary and developer behind Maboneng Precinct and Hallmark House.

“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. Hallmark House will be meeting that need, and more,” adds Liebmann. Adjaye 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.” 

British conceptual artist Mat Chivers, who for the last four months has worked in residency at Nirox’s Sculpture Park in the Cradle of Humankind, will be installing a solo exhibition called Altered States at Hallmark House. The exhibition explores the evolution of modern consciousness, creating a bridge between human evolution and the current technological age. The exhibtion consists of a five-tonne carved boulder from the Cradle of Humankind, an installation work, performance and 25 print works. 

Launched in 2008, Propertuity combines architecture, art, design and culture to re-energised degenerated neighbourhoods. It all started with the refurbishment of an inner-city building to the east of the CBD that would become Arts On Main, home to world-renowned artist William Kentridge’s studio. This preceded a series of retail, commercial, industrial and residential refurbishments in what is today Johannesburg’s Maboneng Precinct. By 2013, the Propertuity’s Maboneng Precinct portfolio encompassed 40 buildings. 

Ken Reynolds, regional executive of Nedbank Corporate Property Finance, which is funding the project, says: “The funding illustrates our commitment to the regeneration of South Africa’s urban environments, which we believe Propertuity has achieved admirably through its Maboneng Precinct, and we have no doubt that Hallmark House will add value to the precinct.”  The Hallmark House project is being managed to global standards by consulting engineers ARUP, and MACE Group are the project managers.


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