Constitution Hill’s Old Fort Redesign

WORDS Michaela Stehr IMAGES courtesy of Clout/SA

Facilitated by local design team Clout/SA and Nando’s, three up-and-coming designers have given the Old Fort meeting rooms and coffee shop in the historical Constitution Hill in the heart of Braamfontein, a bright and creative facelift.

The former prison and military fort serves as a living museum and exhibition/event space and houses the South African Constitutional Court. The young designers have reimagined the spaces into vibrant areas that reflect the many iterations, heritage and history of the space. Former president Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Joe Slovo, Albertina Sisulu, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, and Fatima Meer all served time at Constitution Hill.

The Old fort Meeting Rooms and Coffee shop now house local designs from some of SA’s most innovative young designers. “The Meeting Rooms present an opportunity to incorporate the particular aesthetic of South African design, artistic culture and visual language into the rich tapestry of history at Constitutional Hill. This is also a unique opportunity to develop and grow emerging interior designers that have a strong connection to heritage, and the ability to create sensory experiences,” says Tracy Lee Lynch, creative director of Clout/SA and the Nando’s Design Programme. 

The Old Fort at Constitution Hill Gets a Bright and Creative Redesign

Funded by local restaurant chain Nando’s, Tracy nominated three designers to present a pitch on the redesign. Afri Modern founder Sifiso Shange, Pinda Furniture and Interior Design founder Siyanda Mbele, and Renaissance Design founder, Glorinah Khutso Mabaso (who invited Omni Design’s Nelson Kubheka to collaborate with her on the pitch) were all asked to put forward their concepts for consideration. 

“These selected designers speak a language of rebirth and transformation. They have found new ways of expressing our South African heritage, of making creative connections and building community. Storytelling, art and design are their chosen tools,” Lynch explains.

Visitors to Constitutional Hill can now visit these dynamic new interior spaces for themselves.

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Looking for more on local design? Take a read our Q&A with Ethos’ interior architect Giorgio Tatsakis.