Alliance Française Library



Set in a beautiful ground in front of the Zoo Lake Park, the building of the Alliance Française office in Johannesburg was originally designed by architect Pierre Lombart as his home and later remodelled to accommodate the Alliance’s offices.

Many years later, the Alliance Française approached Gabriela Seco to design additions to accommodate a library and a multimedia room, public toilets and staff quarters.

The architectural approach was to add a new structure on the eastern side of the property and north of the main building, forming an “L” shaped overall plan. This fronts onto a large garden the north-western corner of the site, facing the Zoo Lake Park. In a later intervention, these buildings were connected with an entrance porch. The brief called for continuation of the original aesthetic expression, hence an articulation in black and white cubic forms with horizontal brick ruling, to blend with the existing.