Say hello to 27Boxes, South Africa’s first ever retail centre made from shipping containers. It officially opened in June, so we paid them a visit to check it out. Consisting of what is essentially large Lego blocks, this space was designed with small, independent creative entrepreneurs in mind. Building this retail centre with recycled materials meant that construction costs were significantly lower, so the rent is much more affordable. This makes it possible for local designer-makers, artists and artisans to have their own permanent retail spaces, with a few of the containers being used as rotating pop-up shops.
In 2012 Citiq Property Developers built a small apartment block in Randburg called 61 Countesses, which was the first complex of its sort locally. After that a student residence in Newtown called Mill Junction was built. So when they secured the Faan Smit Park in Melville the concept for 27Boxes came naturally.
Not only is 27Boxes cleverly designed and quite practical, it’s also visually interesting with bright colours and sharp shapes. There’s an airy amphitheatre, a garden area and a play park where they plan to host events and markets. A few of the reasons to visit include Stop Sign Art Gallery, Paul’s Homemade Ice Cream, fashion by Black Coffee, handmade leather shoes by Galago, art and fashion by Love Jozi, bicycles at Hunter Cycling, vinyls from WeHeartBeat and furniture by Laterale.
Visit 27Boxes at 75 3rd Avenue, Melville, Johannesburg.
Apply for retail space here.