Turbine Hall – The Powerhouse

Photo: Facebook POWERHOUSE: Turbine Hall was built between 1927 and 1934 as the largest of three steam-driven power stations in Newtown.

The building used to be the Jeppe Street Power Station built between 1927 and 1934, and was the largest of three steam-driven power stations that were built in Newtown at the time. Originally, the station only had one north boiler house, but due to the demand for electricity, a south boiler house was built, but in 1942, the demand for electricity was too high and Orlando Power Station was used to supply power to Joburg.

Unfortunately, the Jeppe Street Power Station was shut down in 1961, but thanks to the expansion of the city’s CBD, it was re-commissioned as a back-up supply and continued to run through the 70s.

It was reported that a few years later, the property was the subject of a heated ownership battle between the city council and Turbine Square (Pty) Ltd. It was estimated that by 2000 more than 300 squatters had taken up residence in the derelict building until the ownership issue was resolved in 2003 in favour of Turbine Square.

Now, the building is owned by Growthpoint Properties which purchased it from Tiber Bonvec Construction.

Glynis Hyslop, managing director of the forum company which hires out Turbine Hall as a venue for conferences, fairs, weddings and parties, collaborated with Tiber, their architects, engineers and interior designers to redesign the space. Hyslop wanted to make sure that the new building reflected its powerful heritage by maintaining its enormous basement and iconic concrete plinths.

Hyslop and her development team received the Colosseum Award at the Johannesburg Development Agency’s Halala Awards for the restoration and preservation of the building.

Details: www.theforum.co.za

Victoria Taylor

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