The semi-vacant buildings and large courtyard within the Old Fort area at Constitution Hill has been patiently waiting for the right entrepreneurs to make use of its many unique benefits and qualities. With entrepreneurial incubation as its core focus, Awethu Project took on the challenge. The Hill will support the need for an affordable lunch and dinner restaurant whilst establishing itself as a destination for weekends and holidays.
The multifunctional use of the space and how the brand will communicate to a diverse demographic spectrum of people needed to be taken into consideration. Furthermore, the immediate surroundings and Constitution Hill’s history and historic buildings had to be taken into account. The challenge was to acknowledge the historic connection, but allow for a new brand to attract a larger Johannesburg crowd.
Three unique concepts were presented and after much debate the concept called “Freedom Hill” was chosen. Freedom Hill was based on two factors - that South Africa’s democracy allows people of all races to be free of racial boundaries and secondly, that The Hill, once occupied by an apartheid prison, is now a space for people to socialise freely. This was illustrated by an icon of a man jumping backwards into mid air. The icon was then combined with a strong, condensed font which suited the hard lines found in and around the Old Fort.
With the logo in place, I was asked to conceptualise key interior ideas to further support the new brand. Nelson Mandela, who himself was imprisoned at the Old Fort, once said “Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.” It suited the space and what it stood for perfectly so this quote was used to design an eight meter long light box which was suspended above the main outdoor bar. Instead of table numbers, perspex table names were designed using the names of historic heroes who played a role during the fight against apartheid. Finally, paint colour, chairs and smaller interior items were suggested to suit the structure designed by the Local Studio team.
The Hill Café