Any place has a story.

Located in Linbro Park, a well-situated yet underdeveloped suburb 15 minutes from central Johannesburg, Linbro Gardens seeks to reimagine urban life in Johannesburg; presenting a more humane, connected alternative to the conventional model of suburban residential development.  

In order to reach its true potential from a physical, psychological, social, cultural, economical and environmental perspective, we need to view a project’s purpose beyond creating a space for various uses of buildings. What is the role of the project within its greater ecosystem?

In building each of the below ‘roles of place’, we are setting out to develop relationships, processes and technologies which we hope will inspire other developers and push the impact of this project beyond the build itself.
Centre of exchange
A place where people of different backgrounds gather, exchange, and learn new skills and knowledge which enables them to support themselves and their environment.

A place in which a diverse range of flora, fauna, water and funghi can flourish to bring life to the entire ecosystem.

Home & sanctuary

A place that people call home. A place of safety for families, women and children without the constant awareness of violent security measures and systems.

Bedrock of community

A place where layers of community (immediate residents and beyond) are formed and sustained.

House of experimentation

A place where ideas that will enable a more regenerative future are tested and new possibilities explored.

Centre of exchange

A place where people can express themselves and inspire others through art, culture, music and poetry.

Linbro Gardens is positioned in-between the residential and business zones of Linbro Park, close to major arterial roads, the Modderfontein Nature Reserve, Sandton, and the Marlboro Gautrain station. 

Linbro Gardens will encourage pedestrian access and movement to allow more planted areas and general public space. The area has historically been zoned an agricultural holding, with large stands and some industrial developments nearby. However, the area is in the process of undergoing major urbanisation – with several large developments by Balwin Properties close to completion and a revised city masterplan promoting densification.

Regenerative development is about managing complexity. It aims to connect all parts of ecological, social, and economic life to find symbiotic relationships between them. Although Linbro Gardens will primarily be a residential development, we believe in the well-being of the entire ecosystem in order for life to thrive.

Regenerative design principles

Linbro Gardens is a regenerative development. We recognise ourselves as part of a co-evolutionary whole and apply management and design principles to restore systems to an improved, rather than a neutral state.

We use the following principles from Jason F. McLennan when designing: Respect for the wisdom of natural systems, for people, for energy and natural resources, for place, for process, and for the cycle of life.

Integrative work culture and management

In an industry where the division between ‘professionals’ and ‘labourers’ is often all too stark, we believe that by focusing on our common humanity, creativity and responsibility we will build both the project’s structures and its community more effectively. Our vision is to see people become stewards of Linbro Gardens whether they are building, cleaning, growing, selling, or simply living in the space.

Sustainable energy and water solutions
Linbro Gardens should capture most if not all of its water needs by precipitation or other natural closed-loop water systems. Stormwater, grey, and black water should be reused and purified when needed without the use of harmful chemicals. The production of electricity, heating, and cooling should be achieved by renewable energy sources and minimize carbon emissions caused by manufacturing processes, combustion, etc.
Responsible materiality

The development strives towards responsible sourcing and transport; considering the construction process and the life span of all materials used.

Adapted from the Living Building Challenge, the Red List contains materials and chemicals that are harmful to the ecosystem and should be avoided as far as possible. Likewise, all materials used should be critiqued by their total carbon footprint, health to humans and nature, cultural relevance, and community involvement throughout the project life span.