12 DECADES ART HOTEL

A Journey through 12 Decades of Johannesburg’s History.

Our boutique apartments are situated at The Main Street Life building, in the heart of The Maboneng Precinct, a block away from the hostel. The 12 Decades Apartments chronicles the history of Johannesburg from 1886 to 2006, with rooms designed and conceptualised by some of South Africa’s most celebrated artists and designers. Each room explores a different theme appropriate to Johannesburg’s colourful mining and commercial history as Africa’s most powerful economic city.

1886 TO 1896: VISION: MAIN STREET LIFE

DESIGNERS: MARCUS NEUSTETTER & JONATHAN LIEBMANN

Working on the speculation that the meteorite impact south of Johannesburg two billion years ago, today known as the Vredefort dome, was the reason for the gold reef on which Johannesburg was built, artist Marcus Neustetter and property developer Jonathan Liebmann have combined their two passions to shape this room. The hotel room instillation “Vision – Main Street Life” abstractly summarises the artist’s reflection and the developer’s vision in understanding the historic and contemporary relevance toward a pursuit for the future.

R908.50 per night

1896 TO 1906: SIR ABE BAILEY

DESIGNERS: PROSPERO & ANNA BAILEY

The “Sir Abe Bailey” room focuses on the era of the great “Randlords” in Johannesburg. Designed by the grandson of Sir Abe Bailey, one of the wealthiest Randlords, the room and its comforts are in line with the sort of furnishings that an early Rand Club would have offered a successful young bachelor on his way up in the finance world. The design elements pay tribute to the Chinese indentured labourers who were among the first to work on the mines.

R908.50 per night

1906 TO 1916: THIS IS THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT

DESIGNERS: KIM STERN

With a far-off view of the mine dumps and pine boxes filled with gold objects, the room effortlessly translates the era of the gold rush in Johannesburg. ‘Jack’ refers not only to the former owner of the building, Jack Lemkus, but also to Jack Barnato Joel, an early mining magnate.

R908.50 per night

1916 TO 1926: MINEHAUS

DESIGNERS: DOKTER AND MISSES

Designers Katy Taplin and Adriaan Hugo created this room with a Bauhaus meets Joburg mining town concept. While the wall treatments are indicative of what one would have encountered in a gold-rush mining town during this decade, internationally art and design movement De Stijl and the Modernist Bauhaus design movement were gaining momentum and influenced the furnishings of the room. This results in the room being dubbed a Jo’burg Minehaus.

R908.50 per night

1926 TO 1936: MARABI

DESIGNERS: ROBYN SYMES & PIERRE CROCQUET

The post-gold rush era in Johannesburg saw landowners transforming Doornfontein into subdivided living quarters for miners, making it a slum filled with corrugated iron shacks. Furniture designer, Robyn Symes, and photographer Pierre Crocquet, have chosen to focus the room on the Marabi Dance movement that was born of the crowded and dirty, yet vibrant and richly communal lifestyle. After dark, the working class, rural immigrants, the unemployed and the unemployable congregated in the shebeens drinking lethal home-brews and moving to the rhythm of endlessly repetitive, but infectious music that came to be known as Marabi.

R908.50 per night

1936 TO 1946: WHO IS HERBERT DLOMO?

DESIGNERS: LAUREN WALLETT

Lauren Wallet’s literally theatrical design of the room was inspired by the Bantu theatre movement that was curbed at the beginning of the apartheid era. Herbert Dlomo, a teacher, journalist and musician, attempted to fight colonial domination through drama, but was cut off when the apartheid laws came into practice. “Who is Herbert Dlomo?” forces the question of how many voices were never heard as a result of oppression, yet elements in the design all strongly allude to the notion that there will always be light shining through the dark.

R908.50 per night

1946 TO 1956: A PART LOVE A PART HATE

DESIGNERS: LOVE JOZI

Love Jozi designer Bradley Kirshenbaum brings a sense of humour to one of the most tumultuous eras in South African history with his satirical design. While ‘a part hate’ needs no explanation, the tongue-in-cheek design elements make this room a pleasant representation of a particularly unpleasant time in Johannesburg’s history.

R908.50 per night

1956 TO 1966: MAIN STREET CONSTELLATIONS

DESIGNERS: KIM LIEBERMAN

Very much an extension of her personal work, artist Kim Lieberman, once again explores the theme of connectivity between human beings in her room “Main Street Constellations”. The room chronicles and connects the proprietors of Main Street since the birth of Johannesburg city.

R908.50 per night

1966 TO 1976: 50 STORIES

DESIGNERS: COLLEEN ALBOROUGH

“50 stories” explores the history of the Carlton Centre (opened in 1969) and the influence it had on the way of life during this turbulent period. As well as being one of Johannesburg’s only suburban malls, it was also one of the only places in the city where inter-racial socialising was permitted. The layout of the room pays homage to the Carlton’s 360-degree viewing deck over Johannesburg, which has been a witness to the transformation since the early 1970s.

R908.50 per night

1976 TO 1986: PONTE OBSCURA

DESIGNERS: MIKHAEL SUBOTZKY & PATRICK WATERHOUSE

Focusing on the Ponte city building, the camera obscura highlights that the reality of the building and its many fictions have seamlessly integrated into a patchwork of myths and projections that reveal as much about the psyche of the city as they do about the building itself. During this decade, the mass exodus of the building’s residents into the Northern suburbs saw the vacated areas become associated with crime and urban decay. The designers’ intention is to emphasise that while much of the legend of Ponte is true, one is left with the feeling that the building’s notoriety is somewhat exaggerated – that its decline is as fictional as its initial utopian intentions were misplaced and unrealized.

R908.50 per night

1986 TO 1996: CATWALK CUSTOMS

DESIGNERS: BLACK COFFEE

“Designers Danica Lepen & Jacques van der Watt, of the Black Coffee clothing label, purposefully chose one of the most fashion-focused decades in history. Complete with a catwalk, designer rails and backstage lighting rigs, this fashion-focused room brings to light all that was en vogue in the 80s.

R908.50 per night

1996 TO 2006: PERPETUAL LIBERTY

DESIGNERS: ENRICO DAFFONCHIO

The design of the room focuses primarily on the stages of setting up and understanding a new democracy. The division of the room into three distinct parts creates the journey from past, through present toward the future. In this way, the room moves from the dark rigid structures of the seating area toward the light and the incredible view. Instantly one is grasped by the intensity of light and the expanse of a redeveloping, layered city. The space is not intended as a destination, but merely a starting point for the future.

R908.50 per night

APARTMENTS & PENTHOUSES

MINING THEME

“A cosy, authentic loft with a touch of Johannesburg heritage, we’ve put a mezzanine in this room so you can sleep upstairs and live downstairs. Johannesburg’s rich history is interwoven with mining, and our loft honours that heritage with books and photos. This gem is located a block away from the hostel.

R

JOZI URBAN VIBE

Cool Urban Jozi Vibe celebrates Joburg’s exciting urban scene. Situated at the centre of the vibrant Maboneng Precinct and its cafes and restaurants, the unit features a full-wall mural by Mars, the city’s cutting-edge graffiti artist. It gets sun all day. Come home after a full day of exploring Joburg & Soweto, put on one of our South African DVDs, and settle in to a comfortable bed for the night.

R790 per night

ELLIS PLACE

Experience a sophisticated, luxury penthouse with a panoramic view of Jozi’s Skyline in the heart of Maboneng. Includes breakfast at Uncle Merv’s Cafe.

R1,500 per night (incl. breakfast)

CONTACT DETAILS

Tel: +2710 410 5460
Email: reservations@12decadeshotel.co.za

Address: 286 Fox Street, 7th Floor, Main Street Life building, Maboneng, JHB

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