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Bridging the gap between art and (middle-class) life in Joburg's suburbia

Locating a new art and design centre next door to Circa Gallery in Rosebank was always going to be a challenging endeavour. This distinctive architectural statement is hard to compete with, visually speaking. Yet Anton Taljaard was attracted to this possibility for the same reason it might prove difficult. In his desire to establish the Keyes Art Mile, an art, design and residential precinct, along this titular street in Rosebank, Taljaard was keen to exploit this landmark edifice. He had been drawn to it and admired it. He believes it has not only become the most dominant node in the art gallery strip along Jan Smuts Avenue but it set the bar for architecture in the city.

“It created a greater awareness of architectural design,” observes Taljaard, whose reverence for Pierre Swanepoel’s design encouraged him to turn to this architect, and StudioMAS, in creating Trumpet.

Securing Swanepoel as the architect ensured that Taljaard’s Trumpet would “grow in sympathy to Circa rather than compete with it,” says the developer. He has succeeded; Trumpet reads as a natural extension to Circa. A green wall of plants between the two building literally stitches the two together as does bridge that connects them.

Taljaard is cultivating a number of connecting ‘bridges’ through his Trumpet development. One such bridge is between Cape Town art and design and Joburg consumers – many of the art and design tenants are Cape Town based. Most notably, however is the ‘bridge’ between art and design with the tenants representing each or both of these creative spheres – such as the Smac art gallery, Missibaba, the prized leather handbag and accessory label, Anatomy design, the interior specialist. This relationship between art and design is perhaps best encapsulated in the Cape Town based Southern Guild, the local design specialists, and Whatiftheworld Gallery sharing a space in the centre.

First published in Wanted Magazine: Read Here


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