One of the most amazing new buildings in Johannesburg is Circa on Jellicoe in Rosebank; a gallery renowned for featuring the work of top South African artists like Dylan Lewis, Zwelethu Mthethwa and Beezy Bailey.

Did you know?

In 2010, Circa on Jellicoe won a Silver Loerie award, one of South Africa’s most prestigious design awards, for its architecture and interior design.

The gallery at the intersection of Jellicoe and Jan Smuts Avenue in Rosebank, Johannesburg, has quickly gained the status of a modern landmark in the middle of one of South Africa’s main art precincts.

Designed by architect Pierre Swanepoel of studioMAS for Everard Read Gallery owner Mark Read, Circa on Jellicoe is aptly described on its own website as 'relatively small in size', but 'lofty and ambitious in its intentions'. Read says the project was born out of a love for Johannesburg.

Circa has plenty to offer Johannesburg's contemporary art lovers; fashion designer David Tlale used it to debut some of his creations just after the gallery opened in 2009, and leading South African artist William Kentridge has exhibited at the gallery. Circa on Jellicoe is also home to SPEKE Photographic and regularly features exciting emerging artists in its temporary exhibitions, along with their more established counterparts.

The modern interior of the gallery can accommodate contemporary art forms such as video installations, photographic exhibitions and collections of large scale sculptures, and can also showcase music, film and natural history exhibits, or host lectures and talks. The Darwin Room and Deck are perfect for meetings, functions and private dining overlooking the hustle and bustle of Rosebank. The area between Circa and the Everard Read Gallery is a public space where larger art works are exhibited.

While this remarkable building can be enjoyed by passers-by, it also spikes curiosity about what’s inside. The most eye-catching aspect of the building is the hundreds of coloured aluminium fins – resembling reeds – that partially screen off the building. These, combined with the sunlight and the artificial lighting of the gallery, give the building an ever-changing character. Solar panels, rainwater tanks and solar heaters ensure that this modern Johannesburg landmark is almost entirely self-sufficient.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Circa on Jellicoe
Tel: +27 (0)11 7884805

Best time to visit

Circa on Jellicoe is open from 9am to 6pm from Monday to Friday, and from 9am to 1pm on Saturday. Note that the gallery is closed on Sundays and public holidays.

Around the area

There is a large concentration of art galleries – known as The Art Strip – situated along the north-south concourse of Jan Smuts Avenue. They benefit from a mix of co-operation and competition and represent a diverse cross-section of South Africa's art industry.

What will it cost

Entrance to the gallery is free.

What's happening

There is an annual events calendar on Circa on Jellicoe's website.

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