Craftsmen's Ship, Maboneng, Johannesburg
Craftsmen’s Ship is a mixed use development on Main Street within the Maboneng Precinct. The project combines the refurbishment of an existing light industrial warehouse with two new buildings that sees the site transformed into a mixed use complex with residential units, retail stores, a central courtyard and a pool.
The site has a rich heritage, dating back to 1941. The existing warehouse building, which sits diagonally on the site, was initially designed as an indoor racetrack for whippets. Over the years, as the building changed ownership, the use changed to a vehicle showroom and then to workshop spaces for small artisans and business owners. In 2014, when the Craftsmen’s Ship project was initiated, the existing warehouse and adjacent office buildings were in a derelict state.
The concept driving the alterations and additions to the existing structure was based on the philosophy of using the existing building’s raw and industrial structure as much as possible. The resultant spaces include polished concrete floors, bag washed brick walls and exposed steel trusses within the residential units. Craftsmen’s Ship is a unique development and the first large-scale warehouse conversion within the Maboneng Precinct to date.
Daffonchio has collaborated with acclaimed South African artist Stephen Hobbs on this project. Stephen set in place a ‘dazzle’ concept whereby painted murals containing camouflage patterns disorient perception, resulting in a vast and energetic aesthetic. The concept was then translated into built form, whereby the appearance of each building on site contains a distinct identity and interpretation of the ‘dazzle’ concept.