12 decades art hotel 12 decades art hotel
aug 11, 2010

12 decades art hotel

image © designboomlocated in the east end of johannesburg’s downtown, the 12 decades art hotel is a boutique hotel that captures the history of the city in its room’s. the concept features 12 rooms each designed by a local artist or designer that is dedicated to one decade in the city’s history from 1886 to now. the hotel is part of the developing maboneng precinct which feature a numbers of facilities dedicated to the arts and design. designboom toured the recently opened hotel and snuck a peak inside some of the rooms.


hotel front desk image © designboom

seating in the hotel lobby image © designboom

seating area in the hotel with furniture by dokter and misses image © designboom

image © designboom

‘marabi’ by robyn sims and pierre croquet (dedicated to 1926-1936)

johanessburg’s mining history is a key aspect of the city and inspired the ‘marabi’ room by robyn sims and pierre croquet. early settlers in the city only brought the most basic furniture, often only having a few essentials pieces. over time, their wealth grew and they slowly expanded their homes with more opulent furniture. this transition is demonstrated within this room with a contemporary twist.

gas lamp gone modern image © designboom

image © designboom

‘minehaus’ by dokter and misses (dedicated to 1916-1926)

the bauhaus movement had an important impact on johannesburg and was cited as the basis for the room created by furniture designers dokter and misses called ‘minehaus’. the room features what the team interpretes as ‘bauhaus doctrine graphics’ on the walls and a series of furniture that uses primary colours and angular wood and metal forms. these pieces are based on dokter and misses designs with slight modifications for the context of the room.

table and stools by dokter and misses image © designboom

table and chairs by dokter and misses image © designboom

bench by dokter and misses image © designboom

image © designboom

‘the house that jack built’ by kim stern (dedicated to 1906-1916)

designed by local designer kim stern, ‘the house that jack built’ is dedicated to the rise of boxing in the city of johannesburg. stern takes the idea literally creating a box of plywood in the room. the warm plywood cladding gives the room a coziness that is enhanced by the collection of gold objects spread throughout the room and on the main shelf.

wood shelf with gold knick-knacks image © designboom

image © designboom

‘main street constellations’ by kim lieberman (dedicated to 1956-1966)

artist kim lieberman built on her human constellations body of work, utilizing silhouettes of characters that played an important role in the hotel’s area from 1956-1966. these figures are hand painted on the walls and ceilings with long threads of red string connecting them to each other. the colour read is used to symbolize the connectedness of all people no matter what their skin colour is. among the figures i nelson mandela, who used to box in the area.

human constellations including nelson mandela on the far left image © designboom

human constellations on the ceilings image © designboom

  • This idea is contrived and the execution naïve! Does SA design always have to look cheap? A bygone feel can be achieved while still being chic and hotel-like – you really don’t have to make guests feel like they’re staying in a shack!

    This is perhaps a good use of a minuscule budget, but really, it isn’t design.

    ArchiAl says:
  • Au contraire, ArchiAI. I find the concept imaginative and interesting. I hope the 12 Decades does good business d;-)

    Jetwax says:
  • As a south African, I really like the simple and edgy interior solutions they have as opposed to the typical O.T.T OLD Johannesburg styleyou get in many downtown hotels. It’s fun, young and hip.

    Clearly ArchAI has never been in a shack…seriously

    LeeDiva87 says:
  • @ArchiAI. It isn’t design? So you have the power to decided what is and what is not?

    Thati Mokgoro says:
  • I live in downtown Joburg, and its just something that you see every time someone wants to be “edgy”. The original Daddy Longlegs in Cape Town did this years ago.

    ArchiAl says:
  • I must agree in part with ArchiAl. The execution does look cheap. The main Street Life development (which houses the 12 decades) is quite a contrived project on the whole.
    I’d like to see the rejuvination of the inner city as much as anyone, but it’s not going to happen because some wealthy developers moved in and fixed a couple of buildings. Badly.

    Ryan says:
  • It’s an arty space, where people enjoy less padding and prefer more hard surfaces.

    Trend says:

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