African Design Magazine April 2016 - Page 59

T African project Centurion Square he site, which previously consisted of a parking area, is bound by existing buildings with extensive servitudes and dolomitic ground conditions that proved to be quite challenging. The layout of the two office blocks create a landscaped piazza on the south western side of the site and a diagonal ‘street’ in the negative space between the two buildings to draw pedestrians through from the north eastern corner. Given the depth of the floor plates and ‘squat’ proportions of the offices, a central atrium along the length of each building was introduced to enhance natural daylight into the building and to create the option of further dividing each floor plate should multiple tenancies be required in future. These atria, being open to each floor level, would also increase connectivity and communication between the various office levels. The triangular corners created by the north/south ‘splice’ on the north corner of the site, are seen as prominent parts of the buildings where executive offices, receptions and boardrooms are located. Restaurants are proposed at ground floor level. Externally these acute glazed corners provide opportunity for some ‘drama’ and definition to the entrances, in contrast with the remaining façades which are treated as calm but highly articulated compositions. The articulation is created by generally setting back the ground and top floor level glazing from the building line, and accentuating the middle floors. A layered effect is created by extending the cladding to these two floors above and below the floor levels respectively, giving vertical proportions to what is otherwise a horizontally linear approach. The combined effect of this is not only a finely balanced façade but also the integrated provision of shading to the bottom floor and a balustrade to the top floor. Internally the common parts of the building are designed to be modern but warm and comfortable, with natural graphic themes and accent lighting providing focal elements. The office space is uncluttered and light, with feature pause areas on the ‘bridges’ over the atria. Roof level landscaped entertainment spaces complete the end user experience of each building. Lood Welgemoed from Boogertman & Partners Architects, says that the building achieves a 61% improvement in carbon emissions through installation of various energy sub meters, web-based energy meters as well as motion sensors all in an effort to reduce energy consumption associated with the lighting. “The efficient water fixtures and fittings that have been installed in the building also results in significant savings of potable water consumption. Rain water will be harvested from the roof area to be reused on the site and greywater collected from sinks and showers will be captured and treated for landscape irrigation purposes.” Tiffany Boesch, Group Financial Director of PPS, a financial services company, says the company is proud to be part of the development as it is PPS Property Fund Trust’s latest green office development. “Investing in green technology will not only lead to cost reductions in the long term, but will also result in reduced use of resources and have a positive impact on the health and wellness of the occupants and surrounding community. At PPS, about 15% of our members are professionals within the built environment and we therefore are duty bound to be at the cutting edge of construction trends and green building technology.” Click here to read more