South Africa

JPC gets international recognition

The City of Johannesburg (CoJ) management is delighted at the announcement of Joburg Property Company (JPC) winning the ‘Best International Public Services Development Award’. JPC scooped this outstanding award at the Global IPA 2017 held at the prestigious Savoy in London earlier this month.

Being the only nominee in the IPA Public Services Development Awards category from the African continent, this accolade has shown that the Speakers Council Chamber, is a world class architectural innovation which is not an anomaly in South Africa but in a globally competitive property development environment.

It stands as one of the best in the property development sector. This regional award has given JPC the opportunity to showcase the Chamber and its surrounding Piazza.

The building stands tall right at the top of Rissk Street – one of Johannesburg’s busiest streets, radiating a memorable skyline that is constantly on the move together with the people of the city. The current interior of the Iconic Chamber is designed to provide seating capacity for 363 councillors and 172 public and media seats in the gallery.

The Chamber has 80 more seats than it currently requires, and this was done with the view of accommodating any future expansions. The state-of-the-art audio-visual and delegate systems are fully programmable, and customised to adopt to any technological advancements, in order to sustain operational requirements of the Chamber in the future. This development alone creates over 490 jobs from surrounding communities.

The architectural form of the Chamber mirrors a transparent circular drum – a cylindrical structure encircled with a glass front on vertical glass fins, covering the curved outer assembly of the building. The glass building supports uninterrupted visual links between indoor and outdoor spaces. This allows an outside visual connection with the building’s occupants, which is a symbolic means of dialogue, virtually connecting the public and municipal officials. Embracing all residents of Johannesburg and its visitors to the journey of Johannesburg’s journey of freedom and progress.

The Chamber also upholds African principles of space-creation, while integrating smart technologies and contemporary green building systems. The open air Piazza alongside the Chamber emboldens the local community to come together and enjoy various aspects that are built for their leisure and delight such as the outdoor gym, children’s playground and chess set.

The artistry that was selected for the interior design of the building, in its simplicity and intention, ensures that a story is told from the past and present, using not only art forms but also different methods of materials, ranging from copper to steel, canvas to glass. This is mainly to uphold the authentic meaning and design the Chamber throughout the years, embedding a 21st century design into historical legacy. It is certainly a uniquely engineered and world class architectural embodiment representing Africa’s journey and contribution in the world of modern technology and structural design – positioned right in the heart of South Africa’s economic hub; Johannesburg.

One of the unique features of the building is the 134 Kiat Totems, each of which express various emotions inspired by the original artist. As permanent fixtures woven into the fabric of the Council Chamber’s design, these totems will stand as testaments to the people of Johannesburg and the richness of their socio-economic heritage.

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