Architecture, News I 09.08.17 I by

Hotel opens inside David Adjaye’s first residential tower in Africa

A 46-room hotel has opened inside Sir David Adjaye’s first residential tower in Africa: Hallmark House, within Johannesburg’s burgeoning Maboneng district.

Hallmark House hotel takes over the fourth and fifth floor of the building, originally designed by Greg Cohen in the late 1970s for a diamond-polishing business. Tanzania-born, British architect Adjaye is breathing new life into the 66m modular structure and transforming it into a hotel and apartments, the latter of which are still being completed.

Hallmark House Hotel in Johannesburg South Africa by architect David Adjaye
Hallmark House hotel. Photography: Sarah de Pina

Johannesburg-based Aimee Henning of Malica Design has conceived the hotel’s interiors. ‘With the design aesthetic cued largely by the architecture, I interpreted the modernist elements into the interiors, and then added in a sense of “African-ness” through the use of muddy colours, patterns and textures,’ she explains.

She has kitted out the hotel with custom-designed furniture and pieces by local designers Egg Designs and Dokter and Misses. A restaurant, jazz bar and café are already open, while a rooftop swimming pool will be completed along with the rest of the building later this year. All are accessible for tower residents as well as hotel guests.

David Adjaye's Hallmark House in Johannesburg
A rendering of Hallmark House

Apartments will fill floors six to 15 of the building, which is being developed by Propertuity. Each home – ranging from 35 to 300 sq m and starting from R495,000 – will have a terrace with outdoor planters that will eventually create a vertical garden. Wooden gates between apartments are designed to encourage neighbours to interact.

‘It’s a mixed-income community in one building,’ says Propertuity founder, Jonathan Liebmann. ‘One of the cool things about it is that David [Adjaye] has an apartment here.’

Hallmark House Hotel in Johannesburg South Africa by architect David Adjaye
Hallmark House hotel. Photography: Sarah de Pina

Liebman is the main driver of change in the inner-city district of Maboneng. He began by buying up a cluster of abandoned warehouses (now dubbed Arts on Main) and leasing them as studios to artists like William Kentridge and Mikhael Subotzky. Since then, he has transformed a slew of buildings across the area into art spaces and apartments, and the neighbourhood is now home to the continent’s first Museum of African Design.

Hallmark House is the next chapter in the area’s development. Ahead of its completion, the jazz club on the ground floor is currently hosting a pop-up version of Cape Town favourite The Potluck Club, helmed by chef Luke Dale-Roberts.

Read next: Peter and David Adjaye discuss their sonic collaborations

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