Bag Factory

26’10 south Architects

Project architect

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The Bag Factory is an artists residency, studio and gallery space located in Fordsburg west of Johannesburg’s inner-city. The organisation has had a role in shaping Johannesburg’s art offering, providing emerging, visiting and established artists an affordable space for work, and exposure, for close to two decades.

In 2009, 26’10 south Architects were asked to conceptualise an evolution of the Bag Factory building to facilitate the insitution’s growth.

As project architect I was tasked with the new phased design of the Bag Factory, working closely with artists and fund raisers to realise a suitable expression - one grounded in the city, while being open, inclusionary and iconic.

The first phase envisaged urgent repairs of the gallery roof and the upgrading of all public areas. This would allow for the implementation of phases 2 and 3 which planned a new set of studios, galleries, social and administration spaces and programmes. Phase 4 would replace the existing gallery roof and phase 5 would comprise a set of offices and studios for rent.

The folded roof over the gallery and public walkways is imagined as a public attic connecting specific functions housed in independent structural boxes. The boxed additions allow for the original building’s walls to remain untouched, paying homage to the origins of the studio.