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Stylish rooftop gardens and cocktail lounges are adding an interesting dimension to Braamfontein, and they come complete with stunning city views.
LUSH green gardens, with lounge areas and cocktail bars have been created as recreational spaces on Braamfontein rooftops – and they offer some awesome views of the city’s skyline.


Randlords rooftop at nightRandlords rooftop offers excellent view of inner cityDevelopers have started a trend to maximize the use of all spaces, including rooftops, as entertainment facilities, especially since Braamfontein is now home to many who work in the area.

Randlords, a bar and lounge, is on the 22nd floor of 41 De Korte Street. Boasting a 360-degree view of the city, it is accessible by an exclusive lift. The indoor area is large and stylish, surrounded by full-length glass windows. It gives fabulous views from all sides. South Point owns the entire building.

Trevor Latimer, the head of the company’s hospitality division, explains that using the open spaces at the company’s buildings was driven by its vision and strategy to rejuvenate Braamfontein and turn the suburb into a desirable place to live.

Randlords’ open-plan space has natural wood floors that have been white-washed; glitzy modern furnishings such as crystal swings; four-poster beanbag day beds; comfortable sofas and wooden tables. It is divided into a guest area and VIP area. There is a bar on the inside and western and eastern decks outside. On the eastern deck there is a staircase leading to more another entertainment spot.


Comfortable sofas on the rooftop of RandlordsComfortable sofas on the rooftop of Randlords“The development of Randlords was driven by the incredible views that the property offers,” Latimer says. “The directors wanted to create a space that would compare with similar spaces that celebrate the inner city skyscapes in New York and Hong Kong.”

He adds: “The intention originally was to offer a rooftop bar open to the public, where one could stop while the rush hour traffic subsided. Due to demand and the nature of the space, the business model evolved into what is now offered – an exclusive function space for corporate and private events.”

Skyline Gardens
The rooftop of another South Point development that makes full use of all its spaces is Auckland House. With its Skyline Gardens private penthouse apartments and bar, the building offers accommodation to young professionals.

Each penthouse has a rooftop garden, with garden dividers separating each apartment’s garden from another, giving privacy.

“Skyline Gardens, the open rooftop space at 1 Biccard [Street] integrates with the lifestyle offering that is 1 Biccard – apartments and penthouse lofts for the urban professional,” says Latimer.

“The idea was to create an oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the city streets. The space at Skyline Gardens looks over and on to the Nelson Mandela Bridge in the one direction and back on to the Hillbrow Tower and cityscape in the other direction.”


Perfect for partiesPerfect for partiesApart from the mini-gardens, another rooftop space at Auckland House’s Skyline Gardens has a cocktail bar, dining and intimate lounge pods. Latimer says that the response from people regarding Randlords’ and Skyline Gardens’ rooftop spaces has been phenomenal.

“The truth is that people want to re-engage with the inner city experience. At South Point we are passionate about the rejuvenation of Braamfontein. These rooftop activations are the beginning of what is still to come.”

Sport and cinema
The company has more plans – rooftop sports such as tennis and cricket, as well as an outdoor cinema.

Within walking distance of the two is the Alexander Theatre. It is owned by Adam Levy, a young developer who owns a number of buildings in Braamfontein. The theatre is on Stiemens Street and was refurbished to include an outdoor rooftop space used mainly for parties.

Braamfontein, over the past few years, has become a hub for the arts, education and entertainment. It is also one of the main routes leading into the city centre.

“Braamfontein is South Africa’s foremost receiving house of live entertainment, home to four South African-based multinationals, the City Council and South Africa’s premier educational institution, the University of the Witwatersrand,” boasts its website.

“The area has been given a new lease on life with the district’s regeneration initiative headed by the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) and property owners … [and has] been transformed into an appealing and safe corporate district, educational centre, and entertainment and arts hub.”

Braamfontein houses a host of entertainment and education attractions such as the Joburg Theatre Complex, which includes the South African Ballet Theatre; Constitution Hill; Wits University; Wits Theatre; Wits Art Galleries; Alexander Theatre; colleges; and Nelson Mandela Bridge.

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