Their other new aim is to create a space that would allow designers to showcase their work the way that they were afforded the opportunity to do so 10 years ago in their “shop without prices”; an affordable, beautiful space in the small corner of well-established district with the added bonus of being across the road from a German bakery. Ninety Nine Juta, a pink building in Braamfontein, was bought by the couple in partnership with Play Braamfontein and ConUrban and redesigned by Local Studios Architects.
"We really want it to be a design-orientated building. That it would, hopefully, specifically focus on product design with four really key product design tenants, some smaller retail spaces and a really nice restaurant," says Taplin.
While still a work in progress, there are plans for the spaces to come with all the glorious amenities that one would expect of a space when you have an experienced industrial design tenant as their own landlord; such as a goods lift, your own tiny kitchenette and a really nice looking toilet roll holder but most importantly a championing focus on local design, functional fun and respect for the area that surrounds the space.
"Our approach has been quite do-it-yourself," says Hugo.
"Which is quite Joburg," says Taplin.
"Whenever you work for yourself you do it in your own environment and you have to know how to utilize it till its max. Then you can move onto the next thing and the next thing. Joburg has always offered us the next thing," says Hugo.
"Joburg has allowed us to do what we have done. It’s been very embracing in terms of us finding the right spaces and allowing us to keep moving forward," Taplin says.