Boogertman + Partners are proud to be the architects in the AfriBiz Invest turnkey project team of the R1.6 billion Long Street Social Housing project located along Main Street in Jeppestown, Johannesburg. The project was unveiled with a sod turning ceremony by The City of Johannesburg’s Housing MMC Mlungisi Mabaso in December 2020.
The initiative led by Joshco (The Johannesburg Housing Company) will create 1336 one-bedroom and two-bedroom communal rental units housed in five-storey walk up blocks on six land parcels. The four different unit layouts are projected to be available for rent to mixed-income households with incomes ranging from R 3500 to R 15000 per household monthly.
Optimal efficiencies drive the development’s layout and design, yet the focus is placed in investment on features that have the most impact and value for future residents.
The masterplan for the project preserves the existing roads and trees. It builds them into an urban precinct gated at two entry points with unrestricted freedom of movement between the individual five-storey blocks, the school, the park, the playground and the landscaped courtyards.
The high density of the living units is supplemented by semi-private courtyards and access to outdoor living and activity spaces with established trees and landscaping. The perimeter block buildings are designed to create an attractive and well-defined streetscape. At the same time, the units focus views onto the street and park environments, using the ‘eye-on-street’ principle to improve safety in the public realm.
Design detailing of precast concrete panels in the face-brick facades, different colour palettes of face-brick for individual land parcels and varied patterning of breezblocks in staircases and walkways create a softer, more appealing aesthetic within the use of functional low-maintenance materials. The different colours and textures not only help provide visual identity for the blocks they also assist in wayfinding within the urban precinct.
Mabaso said the objective of such projects was to address housing demand and promote the establishment of well-managed, quality rental options. “The development in Jeppestown is part of the city’s turnkey projects, which aim to address the lack of affordable housing in the city. With this kind of investment, we are projecting that thousands of job opportunities will be created and, in this project, alone a minimum of R67m will be set aside for local small, medium and micro enterprises.”