Adam Levy is the cultural architect behind the urban resurgence in Braamfontein. His vision, drive and execution make him one of the most inspiring and admirable people I have ever met.
I got to snoop around his Braamfontein penthouse to shoot a few interior shots before having an enlightening chat on whats makes him tick. I’m doing this post in two parts. This the first being focused on shots of Adam’s space, followed by images of Braamfontein and the influence he has had there. So, lets introduce you to Adam…
I sat down with Adam a few weeks back and had a, as he described, “cathartic chat”. When we were done I had recorded thirty eight minutes of pure verbal gold on my iPhone. However not being the most tech savvy user out there I somehow managed to let my computer erase everything when syncing a few days later – What a putz! Did Adam jinx me by using the term “cathartic” seeing as we’re now left with a conversation that inadvertently holds the secrecy bond of a patient/doctor session?
For those not familiar with Adam, he is the man behind the Juta / De Beer Streets Gentrification in Braamfontein. Landlord to places such as Post, Bam Bam, Lomography, Room, Kitcheners, Neighbourgoods Market and Great Dane etc. He essentially primed a canvas for creative activists. We now see a contemporary, fashionable, urban, multi-racial cosmopolitan community congregating and interacting daily on what was once a bland, corporate part of town.
One might say he has played a significant part in revealing the face of what a New South Africa should look like? Funny, that despite the class and racial boundaries this Braamfontein culture is breaking down, Adam is constantly met with resistance from council and government. He has done all this with the help of a great team on his own steam and dime. We need more people like this.
Sitting at his dining room table playing with his freshly completed lego ornaments I see pure excitement, like a kid on sugar, he tells me with a sarcastic grin how after achieving all this he is now “regressing”. That’s where the lego fits in. By revisiting childhood passions I suspect he’s getting know the core of his motivation. He’s resetting if you ask me. This being the palette cleanser before the next meal and I for one can’t wait to see what’s being served next.