Talking Architecture

Taking part in the Collaborative Roomsets at Design Joburg, principle architects Georg van Gass and Piet Boer of GASS Architecture Studio will be working with top brands to create an Inside Outside Pavilion – a room set that promises to deliver the ‘wow’ factor.

To read more about Design Joburg click here.

1. What is at the essence of what you do? We pride ourselves on creating spaces for people.

2. How would you describe your architectural style? South African minimalism with stacks of texture.

3. What can visitors expect from your involvement at Design Joburg? We’ve been tasked with creating an ‘Inside Outside Pavilion’. A significant theme that allows us to capture the quintessential essence of our South African lifestyle.

4. What architectural advice can you give readers and fans? Buildings should be designed around you and your needs. The design aesthetic is always important, but functionality more so. Buildings should be beautiful, but they won’t be timeless if they’re not usable.

5. What direction is architecture moving in? In our minds, texture is a very big movement in architecture. It’s about looking at and learning from past masters and creating interest in building – most apparent in decoration. The challenge is to translate this into pure form, in a contemporary context that is relevant for modern architecture.

6. How is this interest in texture implemented within our own homes? It’s how we treat different architectural elements. We’re currently using flagstones (or paving bricks) for the indoor floors of a residential project. We’re arranging them in a herringbone pattern and combining it with honed marble tiles. The traditional brick colour and texture, together with the charcoal smoothness of the tiles, creates a depth of colour and texture. This is an old concept but used in a different way.

7. Is there a certain colour palette that is popular right now? Black-and-white is the new black! It’s not a checkerboard interpretation though, but a cleaner understanding of how these colours work together.

8. What would you like to see more of in local architecture? In Jo’burg, we’d like to see a better relationship between buildings and the pedestrian. This is evident in Sandton, where there still seems to be a lack of consideration for the public and their interaction with buildings. Fortunately, we are seeing a shift, albeit slow, towards more considered planning and design.

Design Joburg takes place at the Sandton Convention Centre, from 12-14 May. For more of GASS Architecture Studio’s work and to get in touch visit

Photographs Courtesy of GASS Architect Studio