Nicol/Main Offices and Public Craft Market
Boogertman and Partners Architects - South Africa
Drawings, plans, elevations
Nicol/Main Public Craft Market and Office Building, Johannesburg, South Africa The Nicol/Main building is located on one of the most prominent sites in the city of Johannesburg, at the intersection of William Nicol Drive and Main Road. Highly visible, it can be viewed as a landmark from across the city and also from the Johannesburg CBD, located on a lower contour. For a brand marketing and advertising company, this future proofed twelve storey office will have commanding views across the city. The inherent challenge is that the speed and density of traffic severs the site from the surrounding context, precluding accessibility and connection, almost like a traffic island. The brief required a solution that could combine different programmes onto a single location while affirming both programmes notwithstanding their conflicting requirements. The design solution reinstates the terrain and proposal as a unique urban development. An existing craft market selling locally made crafts to the public occupies the site and has become an integral part of the site’s identity. The proposed new office development has access from the existing office development adjacent and to the north of the site. The design aims to connect these two different programmes by means of a layered design approach and fosters the market as a public urban space that needs to be respected and celebrated. The layered design approach allows the public craft market’s presence and attributes to be heightened while retaining occupation of the street level where public can easily access the market simultaneously fostering high visibility into the market from passing vehicles on William Nicol Drive and Main Road. The mnemonic strength of the craft market, as an existing externalized programme, now defined and formally celebrated by virtue of the office tower above, becomes part of the street and spills out into the city. The office programme accommodated above the craft market, ensures a covered market space and allows a private entrance from the adjacent office park to relieve traffic and congestion around the craft market. The offices as an internalized programme are displaced into the sky as an urban icon to denote the centre of Bryanston in the city with the entire south façade exploited for electronic advertising. Through a layered approach, two diverse, almost conflicting programmes are reconciled.