Ugly duckling’s rebirth

2014-09-11 00:00

A ONCE abandoned building in Umbilo is being brought to life by a Durban man.

Xolani Mlambo (39) has already started to transform the building on the corner of Essex Road into an urban organic lifestyle and design hub.

Seven months ago Mlambo started the Green Camp Gallery Project in Umbilo, slowly transforming the building, which was abandoned 20 years ago. He invited graffiti artists to spray paint the damaged walls, had tyres filled with local herbs and vegetable plantings, and placed old candle holders and wooden relics on the branches of the trees that have grown through the concrete floors.

Beautiful sari material is draped from trees and old lockers now have produce growing out of them.

Mlambo is in the process of buying the building and wants to complete the hub by 2023.

“People come here to be inspired … Hopefully it will be a tourist attraction when it’s completed. This place is alive,” he said.

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