New Joburg council chamber building wins international award

05 December 2017 - 16:03
By Penwell Dlamini
Johannesburg city council chamber.
Image: Supplied Johannesburg city council chamber.

The iconic new Johannesburg city council chamber building in Braamfontein has just won an international award.

The building‚ owned by the City of Joburg Property Company‚ won the public services development category in the early hours on Tuesday morning at the International Property Awards held in London.

The circular speaker’s council chamber adjacent to the city’s Metro Centre‚ a spectacular addition finished earlier this year‚ was the only nominee from Africa. It won for its world-class architectural innovation.

Officially handed over in April and opened in May‚ the R280-million glass envelope enables an uninterrupted visual link between the indoor and surrounding outdoor spaces. This allows the outside world to have a visual connection with the building’s occupants‚ which is symbolic of a constant dialogue between the public and municipal officials.

The inside of the chamber has been designed in such a way that it provides seating capacity for 363 councillors‚ with 172 seats in the gallery for the public and media – 80 seats more than are currently required‚ in order to cater for future expansion.

The state-of-the-art audiovisual and delegate system is fully programmable‚ and completely customised to be updated in line with any future changes in the way that the chamber operates.

The building was designed in the form of a transparent drum or calabash – a cylindrical structure enveloped entirely by a glass façade‚ with vertical glass fins covering the curved outer skin of the building.

- TimesLIVE