creating public space in urban world

​house of the rosebank health village occupies an important place in an urban part of johannesburg;
but a place that lacks any civic and urban public space

the brief

to adapt a very complex existing office building into a community clinic;
to produce an efficient plan which opens out onto the city;
which contributes to a healthy urban world

the idea

the underlying concept was an incredibly simple one: to create a public movement spine (flanked by doctor’s rooms) which would spill out onto a public plaza – a place where simple things like the sun, and coffee, and conversation can be enjoyed

the materials

​like all of frankie’s buildings, this small clinic makes use of a very simple set of materials – which are chosen for their longevity and cost-effectiveness. the walls are constructed of cement bricks which are bagwashed and painted white, while the floors and roofs are all paved with natural slate

the program

the ground floor offers to its inhabitants a public plaza which is flanked by two small buildings with public functions. at the pinch-point of this plaza, there is a reception area behind which one finds the public bathrooms. the main corridor/public spine runs the length of the building and services the consulting rooms which all open out onto their own private courtyards.
the first floor is given over to the staff offices and lounges which look over the public plaza

closing thoughts

every building has the chance – no, obligation – to contribute to a formation of a great city