Fox Street Studios, Maboneng, Johannesburg
Fox Street Studios is a mixed-use development, with restaurants and retail on the ground floor, and residential / studio units above. The building was originally only 4 floors, and each floor above the ground level is dedicated to a single unit. Balconies were added along the northern length of each units, with timber planter boxes acting as the balustrades, with the plants inside screening the balconies for privacy. The timber provides a soft, natural contrast to the industrial black facade. On the ground floor, timber decks have been built in front of the restaurants and shops, allowing the retail to spill out onto the pavement.
A new 2 level penthouse has been constructed on top of the existing building. The external skin of the penthouse is entirely double glazing with black aluminium frames, and the interior structure is black steel with very few internal dividing walls. This gives the exterior a light, transparent, industrial aesthetic, whilst maximising the views over the city to the north and west, and making the internal spaces light and open. The glass facades are set back, allowing for a wrap-around balcony on the lower level on the northern and western sides, a balcony off the bedroom on the top level, and deep overhangs to shade the glazing.
The interior design of the penthouse picks up on the modern, industrial aesthetic by means of a monochromatic palette and the use of steel and copper, whilst introducing warmth with the bamboo floor. The living area in the north western corner is a dramatic double volume space, with a steel spiral staircase leading to the study and bedroom suite on the first floor.
The design of the penthouse proves that urban living can be sophisticated and comfortable, like living in a contemporary villa in the sky.