Already a stalwart on the relatively young contemporary South African design scene, Katy Taplin and Adriaan Hugo of Dokter and Misses have called vibrant Braamfontein home for just under a decade. Now cementing their love for the area with a new design development that reflects their urban upbeat style, they’re inviting other creatives to join and enjoy all the dynamism the area offers. The new 99 Juta will open officially to the public next week (Saturday 21 April); a space brimming with soon-to-be-tapped artistic potential.
what is 99 Juta – who are the players, and how did it come about?
99 Juta is a building that we [Dokter and Misses] have renovated in collaboration with property developers Consolidated Urban, Play Braamfontein and Local Studio architects. We’ve seen the area change over the years and felt that it was time to create an address that catered for our unique needs as well as one that could serve as a space for other designers to showcase their work.
The idea is to bring together likeminded designer tenants – so far we’re happy to say that Joe Paine, Mash T Design Studio, Monique Vee and TheUrbanative will be opening showrooms, as well as Dokter and Misses. We want to create a hive of creativity that’ll bring people to the building – to that end there will also be a bar and restaurant on the premises (exact details are still being confirmed).
what was the building before you got involved? And what’s been changed?
Not much is really known about the building. We understand that it was built in the 1920s. Before we started working on the project it housed a tavern and a salon and there were some residential units on the upper floors, but it was fairly dilapidated and run down. We’ve incorporated floor to ceiling glazing into the facade and added new roof details with north-facing clerestory windows as well as an external goods lift that services each floor. We did retain the existing central steel and timber staircase, which is a great feature.
why did it lend itself so well to being a design centre?
The symmetry of the building was conducive to four good-size showrooms with similar floor plans. These circulate off the central staircase, which encourages visitors to explore the different spaces. The use of transparent partitions also adds to this feeling of a ‘neighbourhood’ or community of designers within the building.
what can Dokter and Misses fans expect from the new space?
We wanted the building to make a statement and it really does that – from the pink and emerald tiled facade at the entrance, to the two dramatic internal courtyards surrounded by towering surrounding buildings. There’s a lot of glass and natural light and we’ve wholeheartedly embraced colour – with terracotta on the ground floors to add warmth, and pops of pink and yellow. It’s an energetic space, and the design showrooms are simple clean white cubes for the tenants to make their own, with a Dokter and Misses kitchenette in each.
99 Juta will open to the public from Saturday 21 April. Keep up with the developments on Instagram: instagram.com/dokterandmisses.