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Benmore Agora

Project: Benmore Hotel, Mall and Apartments Landscaping

Location: Benmore Road, Sandton, Johannesburg

Client: Acsiopolis

Design Node was asked to work in conjunction with GLH Architects in order to design a contemporary and multi-functional space for the Benmore Landscape. 

The building, designed by GLH Architects has three main functions, namely luxury residential apartments, a boutique hotel and a large commercial space on the lower floors.

The lower three floors form the communal and gathering spaces, including within the landscape elements such as, spill out space for the restaurants, playscapes for children, and swimming pools for the boutique hotel and residences.

The first challenge faced by the landscape designers was the structural engineering considerations, as much of the building’s design had already been finalized, there was very limited space available where planting and other landscaping elements could be added without compromising the structural integrity of the space as a roof structure as well as a floor space.

This challenge led to an aesthetic which is reminiscent of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, or as the designers fondly come to call it “Gardens in the Sky.” Because of the weight restrictions, a majority of the planting occurs along the edges of the open space,  creating a visual point of interest for people within the space which pulls them in and, once nearing the edge of the space, creates the foreground for a spectacular view out onto Johannesburg City.

From any of the lower levels, once looking up, it appears as though there is a garden of Eden pouring over the sides of the building and creating a soft and welcoming edge to a tall and impressive building. Much of this landscaping concept has been pulled through in elements such as green walls and sculptural elements which reach towards the top of the building, as well as the residential infinity pool which stretches to the very edge of the building out to the magnificent city views.

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