Johannesburg

Joburg Sightseeing – Braamfontein alleyways get a makeover

12 May 2017

Five years ago no one would have dreamed of saying ‘I will meet you in a Braamfontein alleyway,‘ unless they had plans to perform a mugging or be a victim of one. But a recent and ongoing upgrade project is changing that.

On an exterior wall of the Bannister Hotel Tania Ohlsen and Sandile Radebe’s mirror mosaic Birds take flight and an over- sized Braamfontein sign made from recycled bottle tops by Thabang Selai adorns a wall in The Grove Piazza. A little further away, you get to look up and see an installation of umbrellas suspended in the sky, as Phumla Gqada’s painted umbrellas float up a wall towards them. In the lane behind the Easy Hotel two faces peer at you from a colourful mural and a few blocks away you'll find Nkosinathi Simelane's Urban Jungle.

Josef Talotta, who heads up precinct development for local developer South Point, says it’s not unusual to see people relaxing in alleyways they previously would have fled past, and it has also created shortcuts through this neighbourhood with its galleries, cafes, restaurants and buzzing student life.

The project is a collaboration between the Braamfontein Improvement District, The Trinity Session and the Johannesburg Development Agency. Take a walk. The works are located in southern Braamfontein, bounded by Biccard and De Beer Sts (east-west) and Juta and Jorissen Sts (north-south). En route pick up a coffee from Father Coffee, Doubleshot, or Post.

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