Architecture creeps into cities in fragments and then presents itself as a material re-reading of urban and social phenomena. By way of example, Johannesburg has been changing its appearance in the last few years and the project by LOT-EK “Drivelines Studios” is part of the urban regeneration plan and a driving force behind the redevelopment of the Maboneng area. From Albertina Sisulu Road the layout of a “manifesto” architecture appears, an object that invites one to imagine the prospect of the building as a texture, a decoration that becomes the formal affirmation of a choice: open to the city. The project is part of a triangular lot but with a hollowed-out centre so as to create an internal courtyard using recycled materials throughout the intervention in order to further emphasize its sustainable nature.
Sheet metal containers and railings in Orsogrill intertwine seamlessly turning lowgrade materials into precious textures. The internal courtyard is enhanced by a system of stairs that creates a formal variation to the internal elevations without denying the basic principle of the intervention. The ground layout of the courtyard also focuses on the geometries of the plots so as to underline the paratactic relationship of the compositional choices.
The interior contributes to the same sensation and it is evident how ‘less’ becomes the key element of the whole organism. The portico is reinterpreted in an unexpected geometric key by acting as a filter between architecture and city without descending into the trivial.
Drivelines Studios is an architectural project that declares its will to be a symbol of redemption for a city that is changing and which offers the observer an unexpected point of view of an otherwise serial element.
PROJECT Drivelines Studios ARCHITECT Lot-Ek LOCATION Maboneng, Johannesburg, South Africa YEAR 2017 PHOTO Dave Southwood
BIOGRAPHY LOT-EK IS A DESIGN STUDIO BASED IN NEW YORK. FOUNDED IN 1993 BY ADA TOLLA AND GIUSEPPE LIGNANO, IT HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN RESIDENTIAL, COMMERCIAL AND INSTITUTIONAL PROJECTS IN THE US AND ABROAD, AS WELL AS PROJECTS FOR MAJOR CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS AND MUSEUMS INCLUDING MOMA, THE WHITNEY MUSEUM, THE GUGGENHEIM AND THE MAXXI.
MAIN PROJECTS Hi-Lights, Gold Coast, Australia, 2017 Carroll House, Brooklyn, NY, Usa, 2016 Qiyun Mountain Camp, Huangshan, China, 2016 Whitney Studio, Whitney Museum, NY, Usa, 2012 Apap OpenSchool, Cultural Center, Anyang, Korea, 2010 Puma City, China, Europe and the US, 2008 Bohen Foundation, New York, Usa, 2002