Architect and Builder Magazine South Africa Feb/Mar 2018 - Page 36

branding. They also serve the functional aspect of making breakout spaces in front of the bathroom entrances on varying levels. That, combined with the integration of ceiling details, colour coded floor levels, the 6-storey high main reception, which also integrates Discovery’s colours – really becomes the Discovery overlay within the building and also serves to provide distinctive wayfinding. Circulation Circulation was a fundamental driver throughout the design intent. When you have so many staff to accommodate on a 12,000m 2 plus floor plate, it is easy to feel lost and overwhelmed. It was important to humanise the scope of the building through the interior architecture and design. Wayfinding and visibility were key to ensuring 36 people knew where they were within the building. This was acheived was by seeing the building as a series of spaces you move through, rather than one large space. The pause areas populate the edges and open out onto the atriums - not only showing activity, but also providing spaces to meet. Along the bottom edges of the concourse, boxes ensure you are not just walking along a passage, but have some break- out areas as you move inwards, which could also serve as multi-function meeting spaces. Within the floorplate itself, ‘Walk-and-Talk Walls’ that run along from the atrium edges break up corridors so that moving from Point A to Point B there are various active spaces to circulate in. The design was not only integrated hori- zontally, but also vertically by connecting the floors together. Eleven coffee shops and meeting rooms alternate between the cores, so people have to walk between the different levels to use the services, which also creates chance interactions between staff that may never meet each other. Staff wellness is a key aspect of working at Discovery and this was fundamental to the spaces developed. Discovery’s focus on the wellness of their employees is quite fantastic. There is not only a gym, but multiple events pertaining to lifestyle aspects. As the brief developed, the designers needed to provide amenities that you would not normally find within a corporate building: there are 11 coffee shops and 4 major coffee brands as well as two restaurants. There are a wide variety of shops, making the day to day life of an employee easier by providing services on site. The number of amenities and benefits integrated within the building matrix transforms it into a space that resembles a city. 1 Discovery Place