South Africa’s first “Residential Members’ Club”, BlackBrick, nestled within Sandton’s commercial heart, turns 1-Year old this month, pioneering a new way of living and working.
- The Sandton location opened on 1 November 2020.
- Phase two of the Sandton property launched in 2021.
- MINI South Africa also launched its MINI Sharing service at BlackBrick.
- Visit www.sandtontimes.co.za for more stories.
With its first location in Sandton CBD, and subsequently having launched in Cape Town, BlackBrick became the area’s first office-to-residential conversion and considers itself a seminal step towards a shift for a dynamic urban future – and the foundation for the reality of living and working in a post-COVID world. BlackBrick set out to offer a hospitality-led approach to residential living with dedicated on-site staff to cater to residents’ every need, coupled with always-on access to programs, services, and facilities is set to be the way forward, which BlackBrick facilitates via a dedicated mobile app.
The hotel-like approach to accessing everything members need to make living and working easier means access to everything from booking meeting spaces to booking fitness and meditation sessions, having their vehicles washed, selecting and ordering furniture, design and tech packs from dedicated partners, and grooming and laundry make it easier to combine living and working, maximising comfort and time.
As BlackBrick turns one we look back in order to look forward. We have found our strengths as a business to lie within people, technology, sustainability, and network. And so, going into year two we will be focusing to refine these as the core pillars of our mission, which is to accelerate people’s lives through lifelong learning and community. Our network is growing, not only by a number of cities but by a number of clubs within cities, which is our strategy for building horizontal and vertical villages giving us full city coverage.
// Founder of BlackBrick, Moritz Wellensiek
The past year’s pandemic also illustrated that office space and its accompanying massive overheads were largely unnecessary in many industries. With work-from-home set to be a fixture for millions around the world well into 2022, facilities like BlackBrick Club – which blends workspaces and
lifestyle amenities with an array of apartments – are going to become an attractive option for the future. Rental periods run from one day to one month, to one year – the ultimate flexibility of access to the space matched with the need for agility in the modern entrepreneurial environment.
BlackBrick also became home to the AIR (Accelerator in Residence) program during this period, which brings together talent across diverse backgrounds to create a ‘Tribe of Members’ who empower each other to become the best version of themselves. The in-house acceleration program gives members access to a select group of guides who are experts in almost every field from Arts; Fashion; Music & Entertainment to Business & Entrepreneurship; Science & Innovation; Design & Architecture and Technology to drive entrepreneurial ventures and attempt to tap into Africa’s rich knowledge base, removing knowledge and financial barriers and aiming to contribute to a fundamental shift in the world economy. AIR also connects members with local and global funding opportunities.
MINI South Africa also launched its MINI Sharing service at BlackBrick in 2020, with the first all-electric MINI Cooper SE. MINI Sharing is available exclusively to residents of BlackBrick, and members of the BlackBrick Club, both MINI and non-MINI drivers, and who are registered to use the service. People can experience the building in three ways: renting (to access the full BlackBrick experience), becoming a Club Member (access to the AIR program and facilities), and Short-Stay (to trial the experience for a week or weekend).
In the future BlackBrick is looking to roll out in multiple locations across the country and in cities around the world, giving Members access to ‘Work From Home’ and a ‘Work From Anywhere’ quality of life.
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