Parktown North has a new resident, Johannesburg’s most popular Afropolitan radio station, Kaya FM. Located on the border of trendy Parktown North and the vibrant commercial district of Rosebank, this sought after address demanded an architectural response that would boldly establish the successful and sophisticated Kaya FM brand in building form. A challenge? Yes. But not for Marco Fanucchi and his team from AMA Architects who created a building that is not only iconic in its structure, but one that is also environmentally responsible and functional.

The move from Newtown was inspired by the company's growth over the last five years.

“A number of buildings were looked at, including Newtown, but the best optionfor us, was to build a new structure that would cater to our specifications,” said Greg Maloka, Managing Director of Kaya FM. “We needed to respond to the challenges we were facing in terms of space and centrality, and we wanted a building that we would be proud of, in terms of environmental responsibility and structural appeal.”                                                                           

Parktown North has a new resident, Johannesburg’s most popular Afropolitan radio station, Kaya FM. Located on the border of trendy Parktown North and the vibrant

The vertical and horizontal aero foils, protrusions and overhangs are passive building mechanisms which are the simplest and most effective ‘green’ components as they reduce the heat loads to the north, east and west. The extensive use of passive shading also allowed for the larger than normal window openings. The idea behind the extra large windows was to maximize the magnificent views over Parktown, and from a functional point of view, dramatically increase the amount of natural daylight, thus reducing the dependence on artificial light

The studio, the very heart of Kaya FM, overlooks Jan Smuts Avenue, giving the presenters a bird’s eye view of the comings and goings of Johannesburg’s Afropolitans.

Water is conserved through the optimization of toilet cisterns to ensure the minimum amount of water is used. Electronic sensor taps in the bathrooms ensure taps aren’t left running all day and in keeping with current green office trends, no hot water is supplied to the taps in the toilet cores. Traditionally these taps would have been supplied with heated water from an electric geyser running 24-hours a day. The result is a saving on electricity bills and our natural resources.

Despite its good looks and bold presence, Kaya House is actually quite a 'sensitive' building once you get to know it.