UP UP: Stories of Johannesburg’s Highrises is a slab of a book about buildings and stories from Johannesburg’s original city centre. The project is put together by four young editors from Switzerland with considerable support from a number of Johannesburgers.The local authors have generously shared their experiences as urban researchers and latter-day flâneurs (a flâneur is a timeless, urban, wanderer-poet rooted in 19th century French literary culture).The Up Up authors’ texts alternate with images sourced from the mid-century architecture journal, the South African Architectural Record, and contemporary photographs taken by Mpho Mokgadi. In its feeling and form, Up Up is a scrapbook of interviews, writing and appropriated images curated to make a point about Joburg’s urbanism.This story is largely about the reuse of the city’s 60-year old built fabric to house entirely new functions. The quantity and quality of the modernist spaces that once housed commercial functions has been a ...

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