Aiton Court: Relocating Conservation between Poverty and Modern Idealism

le Roux, Hannah
Hart, Brendan
Mayat, Yasmin
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International committee for documentation and conservation of buildings, sites and neighbourhoods of the modern movement
Aiton Court, in Johannesburg, is a case study in how heritage and economics clash in economically constrained cities. This iconic and formally innovative Modern apartment block from 1937 is located in an area where the income levels of tenants are now very low. Although the building is protected by legislation, the viability of its restoration is being further tested by a rent boycott. The article covers the building’s history, and questions how to approach its conservation differently, given the strong demand for housing at a cost level that would be excluded by purely market–led gentrification. We propose that locating conservation strategies in relation to the building’s history and to other subsidies aimed at the public good may provide other routes to preserving Aiton Court.
Aiton Court, Johannesburg, architecture, heritage, modernism
Le Roux,H; Hart,B and Yasmin,M. 2013. Aiton Court: Relocating Conservation between Poverty and Modern Idealism. vol 48. 2013/01