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Iconic building of the month



The Barbican Building

Photograph Justin Du Piesanie Built in 1930 and the first skyscraper in Joburg to be based on the skyscrapers of New York and Chicago, the Barbican building has become a symbol of the regeneration of the Johannesburg CBD.

Having fallen into disrepair over the decades, this former department store and office block, now owned by Old Mutual, recently underwent a massive overhaul. This rebuild enthralled Joburg citizens, who eagerly watched its progress as it was transformed from a tarpaulin-covered, derelict shell into a show-stopping example of Joburg’s architectural heritage.

The renovations were completed earlier this year and the building is currently empty. We can’t wait to see who its first tenants in decades will be. We reckon the ground floor would make a fantastic, French-awning lined coffee shop - an ideal spot for watching the refurb of the next door Rissik Street Post Office – the next, pivotal step in the rejuvenation of the City of Gold.

The Barbican Building, corner Rissik and President Streets, Johannesburg.