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Harrock Heights
Rouxville, Johannesburg, Gauteng

Harold Hersch (Harry) LE ROITH: Architect

Date:pre 1946
Type:Flats with shops to street
Status:Extant

 


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Coordinates:
-26.146764,28.086954
26°08'48.35 S 28°05'13.03 E Alt: 1679m

This building was completed in March, 1946. Situated on a site in the northern suburbs, it has frontages to the north and west, the latter being 150 feet (45,7 metres) in extent on Louis Botha Avenue in Rouxville, on the main traffic artery to Pretoria. The programme called for the entire ground floor to consist of shops, as this particular area is devoid of a " shopping centre." Eight shops have thus been incorporated in the building. The two upper floors consist of 14 flats, of which ten are two-room and the remaining four are three-room flats. All the flats have large balconies, partly enclosed, and the kitchens each have built-in cupboards, ironing boards and electric stoves as well as the other usual facilities. A parking garage is provided in the basement and is approached by a ramp from the north street boundary.

Owing to the fact that the long west front was subject to the direct rays of the hot high veld sun from noon onwards, some form of protection and recession was called for. This is evident in the framed bedroom windows and the recessed balconies, defined by framing which projects slightly from the main facebrick walling. The west elevation thus consists of a series of projections and recessions defined by the frame motif, which presents a formality of treatment, yet resulting in a definite rhythmic whole. The entire composition is unified by the main frame which embraces this facade, and which is continued forward on the roof to form a cantilevered reinforced concrete pergola. An effective result is thus gained by the striking interplay of shadow, which is enhanced by the colour applied to window frames and balconies.

Finishes

The projecting frames to windows and balconies, and the main frame is painted pearl grey; balcony parapets are in light meridian green and the soffits in pale blue. Window and door frames are painted white and the face brick is golden brown. The wrought iron lettering on the white north wall is red, and that on the west is blue. The plaster squares on the north wall are pale green, and the column in the entrance porch is deep terra-cotta. This polychromy, combined with the contrasts between textures as well as tonal values, has resulted in a fresh and lively composition.

The main entrance hall has a terazzo floor in contrast to the pale green rough-textured walling and pale blue ceiling. The stairs are black with terra-cotta coloured balustrading and white handrails. Granolithic flooring is used in kitchens, bathrooms and corridors with parquet elsewhere in the flats.

(South African Architectural Record, August 1946. pg 200-201)