Sit tight, the Fashion District is about to be transformed.
In a collaborative project that brings, the City of Johannesburg, the Johannesburg Development Agency, the Johannesburg Property Company and the newly formed Fashion District Institution and private investors together with common purpose, the dream of Johannesburg becoming the Fashion Capital of Africa is now on the road to becoming a reality.
The City of Jo’burg Property Company (JPC) is moving ahead with the development of a fashion square which will function as the heart of the Fashion District. All the land required for the development has already been acquired by JPC and concept plan for the new square has been developed.
JPC commissioned Paul Hanger of Spatial Worx and Martin Mzumara of Albonico Sack & Mzumara to develop the concept of the Fashion Square. The design has sought to create a vibrant and robust urban space, where the visual and functional activity of fashion can interact with the public life of the city. Responding to existing buildings and structures on site, the design adopts and adaptive reuse approach to intervention, necessary not only to accommodate the new program for the site, but also to ensure an appropriate scale and intensity of buildings and structures.
The design will now be refined and detailed so that a contractor can be appointed before the end of the year to start with construction of the square in January 2006. It is anticipated that the square could be completed in time for Fashion Week.
The square will provide the district with much needed open space, as well approximately 1000m² of vibrant shops, restaurants and a permanent out door fashion ramp allowing for both formal and informal fashion displays to become a focus of public activity in the square. In addition, the offices of the Fashion District Institute will be housed on the square allowing a hands on approach to the management of the area.
“It is incredible to think that in just over a years time the Fashion District will be a completely different space,” says Alan Dinnie.