The Lenox Reimagined

The Lenox to Host Innovative Artist Residency

WORDS Gina Dionisio RENDERS Supplied

MEMORIST, MOBILITAS and Newmark Hotels & Reserves have joined forces to forge a groundbreaking artist residency and hospitality initiative centred around The Lenox in Cape Town.

MEMORIST, a branch of the MOBILITAS group, devoted to preserving and celebrating heritage, has partnered with IFAS and the Embassy of France in South Africa to unveil an inspiring initiative: an artist residency in Cape Town.

This visionary collaboration aims to offer a sanctuary for creativity, welcoming up to nine artists annually from South Africa, the continent, and France. It serves as a vibrant platform for artistic expression, echoing France’s commitment to nurturing talent, fostering community ties, and embracing diverse cultural exchanges.

Nestled in the heart of Cape Town’s cultural hub, the historic Lenox building in Gardens, dating back to 1929, stands as the chosen site for this pioneering venture. It will seamlessly blend the elements of an artist residency with those of a boutique hotel, offering an immersive experience in an iconic Cape Town landmark.

“We first looked at this property 10 years ago, and waited for it to come on the market,” says Eddie Horn, Group Facility and Property Manager at MOBILITAS.

“The overall project will be imbued with SA art, culture and craft – we envision it as a place for artistic expression and a meeting place for local people,” says Sophie Taïeb, Director of Corporate Development for MEMORIST. The organization has some background working with South African cultural institutions such as Iziko and the Nelson Mandela Museum, and this will build on the strength of its work and relationships in the country. 

“This is the first such residency we’re establishing in Africa, we’re very excited about the possibility of   creating a modern, cultural experience within an historic environment,” says David Martinon, the Ambassador of France to South Africa, Lesotho and Malawi.

Newmark Hotels & Reserves, a brand that prides itself on its authenticity and bespoke hospitality experiences was drawn to this proposition, for the value it will add to its portfolio. “Our guests travel with purpose and this will be a uniquely immersive experience,” says Carl Haller, New Business Developer at Newmark. The guests will be able to interact with the artists, artists will be able to meet guests and display their art and work in the public areas.

Slated for completion in mid 2026, the reimagining of this Cape Town landmark will require a complete rebuild. The building will be gutted and transformed in consultation with a heritage consultant. In its final form, an entire floor will be dedicated into an artists’ residency, divided into three modular studios – adaptable to the needs of the artists themselves. The reception and communal hotel spaces will also serve as exhibition spaces for the their work.

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