The old and the new: more on AngloGold Ashanti’s Turbine Square

History of the redevelopment of the Turbine Hall

In 1998 AngloGold , under the then chairmanship of Bobby Godsell (of the recent Eskom sliding doors debacle), separated from  Anglo American. A new physical home was thus required. As a vote of confidence in the inner city, AngloGold set its sights on the Turbine Hall.

In 2000 the squatters were evicted from the Turbine Hall. In 2005 AngloGold merged with Ashanti Goldfields and a month later AngloGold Ashanti signed the lease of the building from the Tiber Group.

In 2007, almost ten years after its initial conception, AngloGold Ashanti moved into its new headquarters at Turbine Square. The integration of the old and the new has been extraordinarily sensitively handled.

Then and now

The X motif as seen in a old photograph of the building
The X motif as seen in a old photograph of the building Source: Krige and Beswick
X Motif in the new building
X motif in the new building  Source: Liz at Lancaster Guesthouse












While the development required some demolition (the north boiler house being the most extensive) components of demolished parts have been re-used. Certain key motifs such as the X brace as a structural and aesthetic motif have been repeated in the new design. John Steenkamp’s sculpture on a south wall re-uses found objects from the demolished parts of the precinct. 

John Steenkamp’s sculpture using parts of North Boiler House; the  circular motif can be seen in the roof.  Source: Liz at Lancaster Guesthouse

The Hopper: Old and New

Hopper North Boiler House. Source: Krige and Beswick
Hopper commemorated in skylights of central atrium Source: Liz at Lancaster Guesthouse












The Turbine Hall has also been turned into an upmarket events venue all of which is great in terms of inner city upliftment. However the issue of providing affordable housing close to work for the impoverished people who lived here previously remains a huge challenge for the city. 

The publication entitled Turbine Square A Heritage of Power researched by Sue Krige and Sarah Beswick ; a 2008 in-house publication for AngloGold and the Tiber Group. 

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