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Kgoro Gateway, Johannesburg, South Africa

Tuesday 06 Sep 2011

Public space for an 'Afropolitan City'

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studioMAS designs a mixed-use precinct centred around a public plaza 

Kgoro Gateway will consist of a mixed-use art precinct developed around a public square, situated above the new Sandton Public Transport Interchange (PTI) and linked to the Gautrain Rapid Rail system. It consists of Reya Vaya, a mini-bus taxi-rank, a metered taxi holding area, and the Gautrain bus service, station and parkade with street edge activity. The project is intended as the new city centre in Sandton, Johannesburg.

This key site initially was to be a station with shade-net parking; its catalytic development potential was unexplored. studioMAS identified Sandton as a Transit Orientated Development (TOD) zone with capacity for a large mixed-use development, linked to the Gautrain Station with a  PTI. This shift transformed an underutilised mono-functional site to a mixed-use, public space and pedestrian-rich environment. This phase is complete.

The TOD developed into an urban design framework guiding architecture and place-making for the site. The masterplan comprises, 5 mixed-use podium buildings exceeding 195,000 sq m, a public library, station, parkade and PTI. The framework asserts that people are the lifeblood of our city, yet Sandton has few quality pedestrian or civic amenities. This is transformed by creating comfortable external environments that maximise a great climate and tap into the energy of the surrounding streets, drawing it onto the Square.

Its public anchors are a square and Contemporary Art Museum, which are framed by integrated, human-scaled buildings. They provide places to walk comfortably, to look at actions within, to experience vibrant ground-floor activities, to sit, to easily access buildings, to be protected from the elements in generous arcades, to feel safe at night through adequate lighting and to provide the natural, spatial, textural and material stimulation that will capture Johannesburg as an Afropolitan City.

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