Dust off your power suits, puff up your shoulder pads, and spray your perm in place, because we will be boarding our time travel bus to Johannesburg of the 1980s.
The 80s was lavish in its use of materials, and active in its use of decoration. Despite the sheen of its facades, it was a decade in which a sense of romanticism towards the past, either through literal imitation or allusion to its forms and ornaments, dominated design. The outcome was often exciting, luxurious and sumptuous, and sometimes just self-indulgent. Either way, it was a decade in which 70s utopian modernism was replaced by an acceptance of the complexity and kitsch of modern existence.
The decade started with a gold boom: economists predicted a growth rate of 5% and engineers reported being under massive pressure to meet their rushed deadlines. A remarkable series of buildings was conceived in this optimism: Jahn’s 11 Diagonal Street, a glittering blue diamond imposed on an historic urban fabric; the ethereal Johannesburg Sun and Towers; and the massive Standard Bank superblock, amongst others. Outside of the CBD, decentralisation to Sandton gathered steam, with its most remarkable product being the dramatically dark atrium of the Sandton Sun, its cascading waterfall and glass lifts providing a kinetic frisson unlike anywhere else in the City.
Johannesburg Sun (The Heritage Portal)
Join architects Yasmin Mayat, Brendan Hart and Brian Kent McKechnie as they explore the glitz and glamour of the 80s in Joburg, from the City through Parktown, and then to Sandton beyond.
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- DATE: 17 March 2019
- GUIDES: Yasmin Mayat, Brendan Hart and Brian Kent McKechnie
- PARK: Sunnyside Park Hotel, Princess of Wales Terrace, Parktown
- TIME: 14h00
- DURATION: 3 hours
- COST: R300 for members and R370 for non-members
- MAXIMUM No: 50