Architect and Builder Magazine South Africa Feb/Mar 2018 - Page 30

into the broader Sandton Central area on foot. Ground floor has two restaurants, a coffee shop, retail outlets, the first Discovery Bank branch, the Wellness Centre where clients can have their Vitality assessments done, a Woolworths and auditoriums for events and announcements. The ground floor opens into the atrium spaces, connecting visitors to the working floors above visually and spatially. The first floor is for training and meeting rooms. The second floor to seventh floors have the working office spaces that are not accessible to the public unless by appointment. This is the core of the company. Each floor plate has two large pause/break away areas opening into the atrium spaces, as well as agile spaces that allow for different ways of working and interacting. There are a number of meeting rooms per floor for departments and employees to meet and interact with one another. These are concentrated in the core to allow for maximum flexibility on the floor plates. Including Phase 2, each floor plate measures over 10,000m 2 . It was very important for Discovery to have as large a floor plate as possible to maximise efficient interaction and planning of their various departments. Level 8 is where the gym is located as well as access to the landscaped roof which extends up to level 9. These areas are for Discovery staff members, although various public events are held there from time to time. The roof has a 620m running track, a multicourt for basketball, netball and volleyball and a separate soccer court. 30 There are spaces for yoga classes and external seating areas. Level 9 of the Phase 2 tower will house the new Healthy Food Studio, where Discovery will host ‘masterchef’ cooking classes to promote holistic, healthy eating. Architectural Challenges A key feature of the building is the floating ‘nose’ of the West Tower which projects over the Katherine/ Rivonia intersection. To make a statement that fitted with the scale of the building, the architects needed to cantilever 17.5m over six floors. This posed a significant structural challenge that was eventually solved with the introduction of three massive concrete beams that project over the length of the cantilever. The floors were then suspended from these beams on steel, concrete filled, columns. The external façade was also a tricky issue to resolve. In Boogertman + Partners’ pitch they had presented a building with an undulating white camisole over dark blue glazing. Initially they had thought that the façade would be a ventilated façade with the external skin receiving a fritted pattern to create the ‘solid’ white look. After being awarded the project, and researching and resolving this façade, they came to the realisation that the frit would be very visually obstructive from within the building, impacting on the fantastic views from the site. It also became apparent that the ventilated façade was not the right solution for the building economically, however the team all agreed that the expressive undulating camisole was a key 1 Discovery Place