Council Chambers for Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Council
26°13'05.38" S 28°09'49.48" E
This used to be the old Germiston City Council Chamber.
In returning to the original architectural team for restructuring and extensively modifying their own work, the clients have a response by the architects that is confident, detached and professional. The project incorporates a new council chamber within the old civic centre, while retaining the library and the clinic of the old complex. Architecturally, the new insertion is not so much a contrast to the old but a counterpoint – the difference being that the former is bold and with an urban presence, the latter a quiet surprise, but creating an integrated whole of the old and new.
In time the new will read as if it had always been there and yet distinguishable from what was old. A cleverly engineered and crafted new steel structure is elegantly and delicately integrated into the design. Robustly executed glass block wall enclose and internalise the old circular stair. The restrained use of tones of grey in furniture, fittings and décor, and the commissioning of a new carpet design, help to create a harmonious composition. Technically, from both the structural and servicing point-of-view, the design is outstanding, and the execution exceptional.
All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.