The former Van Niekerk Operating Theatre on the grounds of the old Hillbrow Hospital in Johannesburg has been transformed into a state-of-the-art facility for maternal and child health care, now known as the Shandukani Maternal & Child Health Centre.
Shandukani is a flagship public/private partnership between the Wits Reproductive Health & HIV Institute (WRHI) and Vodacom, Altron and Altech that paves the way for future innovation in community regeneration.
The preservation of one of the city's architectural assets combined with the recycling of function and form to create a contemporary clinic has won Shandukani this year's Colosseum Award for Conserving Johannesburg, announced at recent the Halala Joburg Awards ceremony.
Historical importance of building
The award is given for exemplary work in conservation of heritage buildings in the inner city. The project must fulfil renovation criteria as set out in national and provincial heritage policies. The Colosseum Award came about in 1982 during the struggle to save the Colosseum building from demolition. It has become a key feature of the Halala Joburg Awards, which aim to encourage efforts to build sustainable and inclusive renewal projects that recognise roles and relationships between the private and public sectors.
With significant heritage value and historical importance, it was imperative that the building's architectural integrity be preserved whilst incorporating modern clinical functionality. A professional team, led by specialist conservation architects, Henry Paine and Partners and represented by Kylie Richards, worked tirelessly to make this vision a reality.
The WRHI, whose work encompasses research, training and health systems strengthening in the field of reproductive health, HIV and related diseases, was the developer for this visionary collaboration, for the ultimate benefit of the Gauteng Department of Health and the inhabitants of the inner city.