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Audley Gardens
Berea, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal

Dean JAY: Architect
2006SAIA Award of Merit

Award Citation

"The project was an unmitigated disaster. From start to finish everything that could go wrong, did. The project was almost stopped by a court case with neighbours, the built quality was appalling, the project was late, the contractor went into liquidation and the owners were left to sort out the mess by themselves. Sometimes, however, when I am having a drink on the roof terrace at sunset, I think that it was almost worth it". Dean Jay

The stated goal of the designer was that of bringing thoughtful architecture to urban living, custom designed to the lifestyles and mobility of the owner-occupants - group of single professional friends -, and the acknowledgement in the design of Durban’s mild yet humid climate.

Though positioned on the crest of Durban’s Berea, due to the surrounding buildings, views can only be captured from the upper levels. Hence the novel approach to the design of the studio apartments with the living rooms atop of the bedrooms, and the former opening to the sky by way of sliding roofs, which otherwise serve as decks of the roof gardens.

The project consists of four studio apartments, each for a single professional, and the brief was to provide an architectural concept attuned to such lifestyles. In particular, each apartment was to capture the views inherent from the location on the crest of Durban's Berea, contain two bedrooms, and generous living and parking accommodation.

The vast east-facing elevation is protected from inclement sun and weather by giant-order operable timber shutters which filter the inclement effects without compromising the view.

This is an elegantly simple, architecturally bold and innovative yet quiet set of apartments to provide for an urban lifestyle in a vibrant city.

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.