Sleek New Life in an Old City

29 Mar 2011

Lumunu Hotel, a unique hotel situated in the student district of Braamfontein, Johannesburg, South Africa.

The hotel was developed for South Point Management Services in order for them to branch out into a different business market whilst still retaining their key-mark social touch of uplifting inner-city structures. The old Orchidea Hotel building was earmarked for this purpose. It was completely renovated and revamped creating a new facility with a fresh look and feel in the heart of the Braamfontein city district.

The 7-storey building provides 60 well-proportioned en-suite studio rooms, a restaurant serving quick delicious food and three private meeting/function rooms. Despite the challenge of working on an old building that was completely dilapidated, the result has been a unique social space associated with a new adjacent open-air piazza, also completed at the same time as the hotel. These spaces coupled to South Point, developing their own corporate offices directly over the road, identifies their clear commitment to the work-live-play concept currently being marketed for inner city living in Johannesburg.

As only the existing structure was utilised, Simon Cretney, the project architect from Lupini Architects, notes that the buildings service structure was developed specifically at contributing positively to conserving the environment with the minimal use of already stressed city services. This design included gas-heated boilers that supply hot water throughout the hotel, motion light sensors in the passages, fire escapes and public spaces and access card-controlled lights and air-conditioning to the rooms which ensures full termination of power usage on exiting the rooms. "In order to create a new hotel out of the old building, we pulled out everything - internal walls; all water, sewer and electrical reticulations; windows; doors; everything... Our aim was to completely renovate and overhaul the existing distressed building and place it back into the community pool as a modern iconic structure in the Braamfontein district," says Simon Cretney. "It was a significant challenge set to us by South Point and at the end of the project we believe we have achieved a contemporary facility that slots into the social ambit of the new Braamfontein city district" epitomising inner city living.

The construction works of the Lamunu Hotel commenced in January 2010 and was completed on the 11th June 2010, a total of 162 days - in time for the opening of the FIFA 2010 World Cup - at a cost of R45m ($6.4m).

Key Facts

Commercial Hotels
South Africa

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