Leading Architecture & Design August/September 2020

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This Women’s Month, Leading Architecture & Design is celebrating South Africa’s top women architects.

16 INTERNATIONAL The high-concept spiral of the new Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet in the Swiss Jura Mountains was designed by the Bjarke Ingels Group.


40 LIGHTING Get the most out of your solar lights this winter.



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The dazzling futurist-inspired design of this 11-storey Cape Town residential ‘mini skyscraper’ designed by Robert Silke & Partners makes a compelling case for a return to the roots of decorative modernism.

18 Glenhove in Melrose, a speculative office building designed by GLH Architects, required an elegant building that could flexibly accommodate a selection of small to medium-sized office tenants.


The REID Lifestyle Centre, an upmarket lifestyle estate situated close to the Marlboro Gautrain station, targets both Green Star and net zero certifications.




Capitec Bank’s new headquarters by dhk features innovative interior architecture that drives productivity and operational efficiencies.


The interiors of this Cape Town home, designed by ARRCC, combines unexpected materials to create a space that is energetic with highfunctioning entertainment zones, while offering the ultimate in comfort.


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Cape Town is a ramshackle fishing village holiday town. The architecture should all be about luxury and exuberance and frivolity. It should not be too serious. Robert Silke, Robert Silke & Partners, Tuynhuys [p18] EDITORIAL EDITOR: Graham Wood email: graham.wood@newmedia.co.za SUB EDITOR: Anita van der Merwe LAYOUT & DESIGN: Julia van Schalkwyk PHOTOGRAPHY Unless previously agreed in writing, Leading Architecture & Design owns all rights to all contributions, whether image or text. SOURCES: Shutterstock, supplied images, editorial staff. COVER PHOTOGRAPH: Dave Southwood ADVERTISING ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE: Johan van Heerden | Cell: 082 887 6627 email: johan.vanheerden@newmedia.co.za SUBSCRIPTIONS Felicity Garbers email: felicity.garbers@newmedia.co.za

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ED'S NOTE For the past few years, to coincide with Women’s Month, our August/ September issue has included a feature celebrating women in architecture. This year, we have sprinkled in a few related professions – property developers and engineers, for example – to broaden the scope a little and acknowledge some remarkable achievements that are very much part of the business of design and construction. In past years, we have followed a Q&A format, posing questions that seemed particularly pertinent at the time to women, hoping to air them in our own architectural community. For example, the issue of the gender pay gap has figured particularly prominently as a topic for discussion in the architecture profession (and elsewhere) in recent years, and we sought the opinions of local architects on the topic. This year, we have taken a slightly different approach. Although issues such as equal pay remain pertinent, this year we have decided to bring together profiles of trailblazers in the field as a showcase of what top women architects (and related professionals) have done and continue to do in the field. It’s a composite portrait of achievements, qualities, contributions and values that women bring to the field. It is important to keep in mind, however, as Althea Peacock of Lemon Pebble Architects reminded me: “Women

in architecture is not a fringe or marginal category of being.” And: “There is more than one mode of being woman/architect.” Showing a selection of women architects in isolation like this is intended as a provisional exercise – a celebration for a specific occasion rather than an exercise in re-inscribing categories. Acknowledging the provisional nature of this exercise is important for other reasons, too. Just as certain issues such as the gender pay gap may have been particularly pertinent and urgent at particular moments, so the broader social, historical and political events of the past year make it important to acknowledge that gender discrimination cannot and should not be viewed in isolation. Inequalities in gender, race, sexuality, income, religion, geography – the list goes on – are inextricably bound together. Real transformation demands a complex and sustained engagement with the bigger picture. For the moment, however, in acknowledgement of Women’s Month, let us celebrate the women in architecture and related industries: a formidable group of people whose ongoing contribution is worth cheering about.


GETTING TO ZERO: A guide to developing net zero carbon buildings in South Africa gives a thorough overview on net zero carbon buildings in South Africa. It provides guidance to professional teams considering developing a net zero carbon building and shows those shaping the built environment in South Africa that it is possible. Sparked by engagement between the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the eThekwini Energy Office, the guide is a collaborative production, led by the ASHRAE South Africa Chapter with input from the C40 South Africa

Buildings Programme, Sustainable Energy Africa (SEA), and the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA). When it comes to getting a building to net zero carbon status, the basic idea is to reduce energy consumption as much as possible, and then to provide the building’s minimal energy needs through renewable energy. Exactly how this can be done, is explained in this guide. For those keen to take the sustainability of their property to the next level ahead of regulatory changes that will make higher efficiencies in buildings mandatory, this guide can assist.




GETTING TO ZERO gives practical tips on how net zero carbon can be achieved – from identifying the right people to have on your project team, to the actual energy-use intensity of lighting and mechanical equipment that should be targeted in a commercial building. Furthermore, it highlights renewable energy considerations to bear in mind on your project. The guide features numerous case studies, showcasing projects that have already achieved net zero carbon status. These projects provide inspiration and share


2020 1

learning to motivate those seeking to make net zero carbon a reality. GETTING TO ZERO is freely available and can be downloaded at https://gbcsa.org.za/ wp-content/uploads/2020/08/ Getting-to-Zero_2020.pdf

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Celebrating Women in Architecture This August, Leading Architecture & Design is celebrating the inspirational women leaders in architecture and related fields with profiles of South Africa’s top architects and professionals from related realms of design and construction.



Internationally acclaimed architect Nadia Tromp is best known for creating spatial justice through her work in social and civic architecture. In 2008, she founded Ntsika Architects, one of the few black-owned female practices in the country. “This is still a very new country, especially for many of us who were forced to grow up on its periphery. What excites us as a practise is to be at the forefront of helping to constantly reshape and reimagine this new space,” says Tromp. “It has been amazing to see how our projects have started to transform communities, from primary healthcare projects in Soweto to highly densified urban areas like Hillbrow.” In 2017, Nadia became the first female South African architect to win a World Architecture Festival Award (WAF) for the Westbury Clinic. In 2019 another project, the Transformation and Development Centre, was awarded the highest accolade at the Architecture Masterprize in Bilboa Spain, winning the prize for mixed-use project. In 2015 her design of the Museum of Human Migration (MoHM) won an international design award with the 19millionproject. She showcased a selection of her works at the Venice Biennale in 2017. Nadia served as the GIFA president (2018-2020) and is the director of the UIA WP – Community Architecture + Human Rights.

Tel: +27 (0)11 492 7001 Email: info@ntsika.co.za www.ntsika.co.za

Claire has over 20 years’ experience, and holds a BA Hons in Interior Design from Greenside Design Center. She worked for a multi-disciplinary practice in Australia for six years, returning to South Africa in 2012. As Director at Paragon Interface, Claire secured two of the largest fit-out projects in the country: the new Sasol head office and 1 Discovery Place. The latter won a 2020 German Design Award for Excellent Architecture: Interior Architecture. It was also the Office Design Winner at the prestigious SBID International Design Awards 2018 in the UK. Claire comments, “Very few people in the industry can speak of being part of a project of that magnitude in their careers. I am proud of the outcome we delivered, and how it has been received by the industry, locally and globally.” Claire most recently won SAPSA Professional of the Year Award in the Architecture and Design Class of the Built Environment. www.paragon.co.za


Barbara says that when she began studying architecture, she was in the first year with a 50/50 gender split. Soon after graduating with her masters in Urban Design and City Planning, her career was launched in many ways when her team won first prize in the international Housing Generator Competition run by the Netherlands Institute of Architecture in 1999. Soon after, he was awarded the 2003 Ralph Erskine Prize for her role in the Dignified Places Programme in Cape Town. Her career as a spatial planner, urban designer and architect has encompassed public and private sector experience. At first, she says, she frequently


found herself “the only woman in the boardroom”, but “never felt compromised”. She adds, however, “I did feel I was taken more seriously when I wore my hair up!” Although now women architects seem more comfortable emphasising their traditionally feminine qualities, Barbara often felt she had to appear tougher than she was. “A really tough time was starting a family one year into launching a new practice and then bizarrely deciding to add on to our home while living in it,” she says. “Who would do that to themselves?” In 2007, she established City Think Space, a specialist urban design practice, which merged with GAPP in 2014. She often appears at key international urban design, spatial planning and sustainability events and conferences, participates in global debates and has published numerous papers, lectures and feature articles.

Tel: +27 (0)21 424 2390/1 Email: office@jhb.gapp.net www.gapp.net/en/



Leigh joined dhk as a partner and member of the board of directors in 2019. Her management portfolio includes business development with a special focus on healthcare and public projects. Leigh studied architecture at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, including a semester on an exchange programme in Copenhagen, Denmark, to study co-housing. She has over 16 years’ experience in the industry and has worked for several prominent firms throughout her career, exposing her to the full spectrum of projects. Before joining dhk, Leigh established her practice, Leigh Bishop Architects, in Durban, and from 2009 to 2018 executed projects in the healthcare, high-end residential and commercial sectors. Leigh currently leads a team working on the development of specialist hospital facilities in eSwatini and Botswana, as well as the conversion of two large-scale inner-city buildings into luxury hotels. Leigh says, “I had aspirations of becoming an architect from a young age. While a career in the field hasn’t been without its challenges, it has been incredibly rewarding. Prominent female architects need to inspire inclusivity and serve as beacons of gender equality. It is essential that we continue to inspire, motivate and carve out space for the future generation of female leaders.”

dhk Architects Email: hello@dhk.co.za +27 (0)21 421 6803 www.dhk.co.za

Tel: +27 (0)11 784 3860 Email: Rashma@ tcrpv.co.za Michael@tcrpv.co.za www.tcrpv.co.za


“I have always welcomed new design challenges in a variety of architectural typologies, and to shape space at different urban scales,” says Marinda. “The decade that I have spent part of Boogertman + Partners’ team has allowed me to participate in a broad spectrum of design projects across the African continent. But the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a new lens on the role of the designer in facilitating creative solutions to current challenges. Collaborative design processes that generate

Rashma brings 17 years of design and construction experience to TCRPV Architects. She holds a master’s in architecture from the University of the Witwatersrand. Before becoming a partner at TC Design Group, Rashma had founded her own practice, RPV Architecture, in 2012. Starting from humble beginnings, Rashma grew her business into a QSE level within five years. The success of her practice, together with the award of two large-scale retail competition bids, namely The Kingsley Centre in Tshwane and Malvern Shopping Centre in eThekwini, enabled RPV Architects to become a major shareholder in a well-established architectural firm, TC Design Group. This merger transformed the company into what is now known as TCRPV Architects. The company now proudly stands with 51% black female ownership and half of the 38 staff members across the group are female. Being true to her beliefs, Rashma has positioned herself to help enable women with similar circumstances to reach their career goals within the commercial architectural sector. Rashma has been instrumental in establishing the TCRPV Empowerment Initiative, which is a registered non-profit organisation that empowers black women through various learnerships and annual architectural bursaries. “I feel all architecture should be relevant and reflect the society in which it serves. In South Africa, this should be extended beyond just gender roles to also include the various cultures that make up our proud heritage. Therefore, I believe that our architectural profession should be largely influenced by women, certainly of colour, in order to create a diverse environment within the design industry. This would result in successful solutions that influence, shape and inspire people,” says Rashma.

robust outcomes with a diverse team has always been a personal passion. As our new global context is being re-shaped, traditional architectural responses, I believe, are losing their relevance. Collaboration – now more than ever – allows us to collectively speculate on alternate solutions. During the pandemic, our team has created Design the Future. It started as a turnkey consultancy providing design solutions to get businesses back to the workspace. But it has evolved into an opportunity to generate new design thinking for unusual times. Through this journey, we strive to shape the future of community-based learning, understand the essence of

affordable living, and interrogate what workspace means to brand culture. I look forward to a continued journey of inter-disciplinary discovery in the future of the built environment.”

Email: mail@boogertmanjhb.co.za Tel +27 (0)11 790 1600 www.boogertmanandpartners.com




Asheigh Killa is the mother-half of theMAAK, a Cape Town-based architecture studio. Her energy brings softness and care to theMAAK’s projects, all of which are people- and community-centric. Ashleigh’s passion is to be of service to people and it is through the studio’s processes and outputs that the ‘act of service’ is presented and delivered through permanent, human-scaled works of art. The studio’s recent projects include: a TB testing clinic in Masiphumelele, Cape Town, for the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation; ‘Waste to Wonder’ TetraPak installation in Langa, Cape Town, for their annual Follies in the Veld design-build programme; and ‘We See Change’, an interactive LED billboard, currently installed in Woodstock, Cape Town. The studio’s work has been praised for its genuine social agenda and has been featured both locally and internationally across print and digital media; publications include Visi, ArchDaily and Designboom. “I’m at the beginning of my career, and I’m a young beginner – both of these truths could have been areas for discrimination and discomfort; however, I haven’t experienced either,” says Ashleigh. “This could be attributed to how I handle myself on projects, it could be the teams we choose to work with, it could be that our industry is shifting… either way, I’m not recorded as ‘the female architect’, but rather, ‘the architect’ – I am seen for what I do, not the gender I represent.” www.themaak.co.za


With close on 20 years of experience in the industry, Kathleen Western has worked on a range of building scales and typologies in Africa and Europe, as a design and project architect and urban designer, in prominent boutique and commercial firms in South Africa and Ireland. Most recently with GLH Architects, she completed the striking pair of buildings (housing Webber Wentzel and the Advocates Chambers) on the corner of Rivonia and Pybus Roads in Sandton, and led the winning government PPP bid for the Department of Stats in Pretoria. Her passion for design integrity and pragmatic technical resolution has served her well in both the built environment and the educational sphere, where she has given talks at Universities and professional Institute conferences. Recent career highlights include attending the World Architecture Festival in Amsterdam to co-present a shortlisted competition entry; having her work featured in the Gauteng Institute for Architecture exhibition ‘New South African Architecture: Women Shaping the Future’; and, of course, launching her own architectural studio. Kathleen observes, “Although I have had to push to achieve parity, and for my high standards to be seen positively, even desirable, I am conscious that I am the architect I am today because of the generous guidance of others in the construction industry with whom I've worked.” www.kathleenwestern.co.za


Roxanne Kaye graduated from the University of Cape Town with a BArch degree in 2007, after which she began her career at SAOTA as a candidate architect. With a strong work ethic and uncompromising dedication to design, she quickly rose to the position of project architect and team leader. Since then, Roxanne has worked across the globe, managing projects in Cape Town, Russia, Nigeria, Mexico, Mauritius, Morocco, Argentina and Brazil, to name a few. Her responsibilities include design, client relations, resource and financial management, system development and mentoring. Whilst she loves the varying focuses of architecture, design is her strength and passion and constantly fortifies her in her career decision. As passionate as Roxanne is about being an architect, she is a dedicated mother – testament to the fact that one can have a successful career and still raise a family without having to compromise on either. Roxanne’s hope for the profession is that young architects, and particularly


women, forge their own paths by working hard and committing to doing the best that they can do. She firmly believes that success must be earned and taken, not given. She points out that SAOTA is always looking for talented young architects. “There are many pertinent questions being asked at the moment about diversity, inclusiveness and equality worldwide,” she says. “My message to the young women graduating, would be that it is critical to define yourself as an architect rather than a female architect. By celebrating the value women bring to the profession, we should progress towards more equal representation in the field and maintain the quality and impact of the work we do and value we add.” 109 Hatfield Street, Gardens, Cape Town, 8001 Tel: +27 (0)21 468 4400 | Email: info@saota.com | www.saota.com



Civil engineer Kim Timm, Centurion Structures Technical Lead at infrastructure delivery company AECOM, was awarded the title of Woman Professional of the Year for 2019/2020 at this year’s South African Professional Services Awards. She was also awarded the CESA Mentor of the Year 2019. “Probably my favourite recent project that I have been involved in is the new Exxaro head office, the ConneXXion, for Growthpoint Properties with AMA Architects,” says Kim. “It was a technically challenging building but we had an excellent project team, which led to it winning the CESA Projects greater than R250m category in 2019, along with several other industry awards.” Over a career spanning 17 years, she has worked on a wide range of projects from heavy industrial to retail, educational and commercial buildings. In 2018, she co-authored two papers that were presented at the IABSE conference in Nantes, France. “There is definitely still bias around gender in the industry, and this will take time to change,” says Kim. “I’ve always believed that the only way I will change the misconception that women don’t belong in engineering is to be the best engineer that I can possibly be. It makes it a lot harder for people to argue the point if you are living evidence that they are incorrect.” She adds, however, “We need a broader approach than simply offering opportunity. We must address the unconscious bias that clouds our industry too.” www.aecom.com


Philippa is a co-founder of IZUBA INafrica Architects, a senior lecturer and Head of the School of Architecture, Planning & Geomatics at the University of Cape Town. She was introduced to academia in the Department of Architecture at the University of Pretoria as an assistant studio master in the first-year studio. In 2007, she joined the department of Architecture at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) South Africa as the first-year coordinator and design studio master. In addition to practice and academia, she has served on the board of the Gauteng Institute for Architects (GIfA), where she contributed to the re-branding and rejuvenation of GifA as an active vehicle through which the significance of architects and architecture is made visible in the broader society. In 2018, she was awarded her PhD at the School of Higher Education Studies, University of the Free State. She continues to be an avid and active presence in the design industry in South Africa and frequently sits on the National Judging Panel for the South African Institute for Architects (SAIA) and the AfriSAM SAIA Sustainability Awards.

Tel: +27 (0)21 650 2911 | Email: ebe-faculty@uct.ac.za www.ebe.uct.ac.za


As a founding director of Co-Arc International Architects, where she has worked for 21 years, Catharine leads the technical implementation of the architecture produced by the practice. In her role as leader of the consultant team, she managed the design implementation of Africa’s 55 storey mixed use building, The Leonardo. “To have had the opportunity to lead our team as the architects on the tallest residential building in Africa, let alone South Africa, as a relatively young female, is almost inconceivable,” she says. She points out that although strides have been made in this traditionally male-dominated industry, the field is still not without its challenges for women. Catharine has successfully guided teams to realise numerous mixed use and leisure projects in Western Africa for international clients, as well as significant corporate developments and exclusive residential projects. Catharine has mentored many young female staff at Co-Arc International and teaches them that mutual respect and common decency can earn vital common ground on a construction site. “The more we as females take ownership of what we honestly deserve and stand up with pride, the more we’ll be appreciated in this still male-dominated industry,” she says.

Karlien Thomashoff is not only an architect, but also acts as design specialist on projects ranging in scale from product and fabric design to sports facilities and restoration. Over the course of her career, after qualifying in 1992, she has been a key member on project teams chosen as finalists in several significant local design competitions, such as the ‘New Legislature Buildings’ in Kimberley in the Northern Cape, and the ‘Transformation of Red Location’ in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. More recently, landmark projects have included the renovation of the Boukunde Living Lab at the University of Pretoria. Significant residential projects include House Rooke, which was awarded an Award of Excellence by the Pretoria Institute for Architecture and Stand 47, which pioneered sustainable design using thermally efficient alternative building materials, completed with the participation of Saint-Gobain. She regularly sits on a range of examination and awards panels, has lectured part-time at universities and has presented public lectures on her work locally and abroad. “I believe that women’s contribution to architecture is definitely a sense of sophistication and attention to detail,” says Karlien. “The assumption that women do not have the knowledge or experience to be in decision-making positions in the construction industry needs to change.” www.thomashoffstudio.co.za

Tel: +27 (0)11 447 1344 | Email: admin@co-arc.com www.co-arc.com





Althea Peacock co-founded Lemon Pebble Architects with Tazneem Razak in 2006, one of the country’s first architecture practices to be 100% black-women-owned. She has worked on a range of buildings and urban spaces that include public work, commercial buildings, residential work, housing and urban regeneration, as well as public facilities such as clinics and libraries. She also has a keen interest in the spatial transformation of heritage buildings with a contentious past, into forward-looking, inclusive buildings through in-depth research. She and her practice are uniquely placed to address the challenges of developing spatial equity in the post-apartheid built environment. She has also done much to open up conversations in the field of architecture about transformation, gender discrimination and race. “In our practice at Lemon Pebble Architects, and I think for other woman practitioners, we own the experiences of this unique space, of being women in the built environment profession at a time when we are confronting difference at a global scale,” she says. “Women in architecture is not a fringe or marginal category of being. We need to confront the conversation in all of its complexity: race, culture, gender, religion, sexuality, financial status, ideology, patriarchy, post-colonial ethic, etc. “We need to have all the difficult conversations: the ones about women existing in negotiated spaces, the ones that make us deeply uncomfortable, because those are the ones that lead to change.” www.lemonpebble.co.za

Heather Dodd has carved a remarkable space for herself as pioneer in social housing and affordable housing in the inner city of Johannesburg, and public buildings, particularly civic buildings and educational buildings. In 2018, the practice held an exhibition, MOTIF, celebrating 25 years of their work, which showcased the remarkable range of their practice, much of which has been singled out for prestigious local and international awards. For example, the residence, dining hall, lecture rooms and offices at Sol Plaatje University, Kimberley, was shortlisted for the 2019 International Urban

Project Award held recently at the BAU Congress China in Shanghai. In 2019, too, Heather was invited to sit on the judging panel in the ‘Production Energy & Recycling’ Category at World Architecture Festival (WAF) in Amsterdam. She has been shortlisted herself for WAF awards on three occasions, receiving a commendation in 2018 and winning the prestigious WAFX Award for Tower Inten_City, a proposal for the mixed-use redevelopment of the Absa tower in Johannesburg, developed with UrbanWorks. Earlier this year she was included in independent Italian collective RebelArchitette’s interactive public world map of outstanding women architects

from all over the world. “We believe in the power of design in restorative spatial justice and urban resilience,” says Heather.

+27 (0)11 782 8188 | www.savagedodd.co.za


Incoming SAIA president Kate Otten is well known for making strides not just in forging new directions in local architecture – responding to local landscape, culture, materials, skills and sustainability imperatives – but also for her bold, transformative approach to the practice of architecture itself, particularly in promoting the contribution of women to the profession. Kate established her practice in 1989, just one year out of university, and is a rare example of a women-led practice that has been sustained for more than three decades. In fact, as she said in a lecture given to the African Union of Architects Congress a few years ago, “[I] t was an empowering choice and one that has allowed me to have my own voice and enabled me to create a safe place to pursue architecture for myself and other women and men who are feminists.” Kate has designed a wide and diverse range of projects, from award-winning high-end residential projects to symbolic landmarks such as the museum and office space at the former Women’s Jail at Constitution Hill. A significant portion of Kate’s work involves public buildings, residences, educational buildings and even offices. She has delivered public lectures on her work locally and internationally, including the Sophia Grey Memorial Lecture in 2015. Kate says that she has always been fundamentally interested in transformation – “as in the bigger picture,” she says – including all our diverse differences. But perhaps one of the things that has made Kate most effective in achieving this goal is her practice of “empowering yourself and others through doing: leading by making, thus literally showing the way”. www.kateottenarchitects.com



As well as managing the Atterbury Trust, a public benefit organisation, since it was established in 1998, Zahn has been co-responsible for marketing and brand management at Atterbury, one of SA’s leading property development companies,

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since 2008. The Atterbury Trust has awarded nearly 700 bursaries to financially needy students, almost 500 of whom have already obtained tertiary qualifications. Zahn is a Chartered Accountant (CA(SA)) with a Masters’ degree in auditing, and has been involved in one of the country’s biggest property transactions, namely introducing

the Waterfall Development company to Atterbury. “I was blessed to play an instrumental role in a number of innovative ventures, ranging from being involved in the establishment of the Atterbury Theatre in 2011, to the opening of the Triomf clinic in 2014 where free medical care is provided to disadvantaged communities, the Atterbury National piano competition, various infrastructure improvements to schools, marketing campaigns for Atterbury, and a number of charitable initiatives improving the livelihood of hundreds of vulnerable people,” she says. Her brainchild, the ‘Cool Capital’ schools art competition, formed part of Pretoria’s Cool Capital biennale. She says that she finds it very fulfilling to work with development teams, architects, graphic designers and the media.

“Fortunately, I have never experienced gender discrimination at Atterbury, where more than 60% the workforce is made up of women,” says Zahn. She adds that inclusivity and diversity are fundamental to the success of the industry. “Diverse voices ensure inclusivity and a sense of connection to a building,” she says. “Our country is wonderfully diverse and all voices need to be heard.”

Tel: +27 (0)12 471 1600 Email: zahn@atterbury.co.za www.atterburytrust.org

31 Jan 2020 10:57:31



Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet

The high-concept spiral of the new Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet in a remote valley of the Swiss Jura Mountains, designed by BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), inspired by the spring of a timepiece, rises seamlessly from the ground and integrates the surrounding landscape. PHOTOGRAPHY IWAN BAAN


n 2014, BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) won the architectural competition Audemars Piguet hosted to expand its historical premises. The firm designed a contemporary spiral-shaped glass pavilion to complement the company’s oldest building, where Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet set up their workshop, technically a start-up of the old times, in 1875. This architectural combination


symbolises the blend of tradition and forward thinking at the heart of Audemars Piguet’s craftsmanship, while honouring its deep-rooted origins in the Vallée de Joux. BIG’s spiral design offers a pristine setting for the masterpieces of technicity and design that have taken shape, year after year, in this remote valley of the Swiss Jura Mountains. The Musée Atelier’s spiralshaped pavilion, realised by the


Swiss architecture office CCHE, seamlessly rises on walls of structural curved glass. A feat of engineering and design, it is the first construction of its kind to be built at such altitude. The curved glazing entirely supports the steel roof, while a brass mesh runs along the external surface to regulate light and temperature. The green roof further helps regulate temperature, while absorbing water. The spiral has been designed to perfectly integrate the surrounding landscape. The floors follow different slants to adapt to the natural gradient of the land and provide the basis of the museum’s inner layout, stretched into a linear continuous spatial experience. Inside, the curved glass walls converge clockwise towards the

spiral’s centre, before moving in the opposite direction: visitors travel through the building as they would through the spring of a timepiece. This new contemporary building reflects the Manufacture’s commitment to architectural innovation regarding manufacturing and cultural projects alike. It fulfils the requirements of the Swiss Minergie certification in terms of energy efficiency and high-quality construction. The company is also building the new Hôtel des Horlogers in its hometown of Le Brassus, which will open in the summer of 2021 – a sustainable, contemporary space at the crossroads of modernity and tradition, once again designed by BIG with CCHE as local partner.









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Back to the future The delightfully bold retro-futuristic features of Tuynhuys, the 11-storey Cape Town residential ‘mini skyscraper’ designed by Robert Silke & Partners, make a compelling case for a return to the roots of decorative modernism and traditional street-making as the future of South African architecture and urbanism. PHOTOGRAPHY DAVID SOUTHWOOD, LINLEY MEAVERS


et on the historical Keerom Street in Cape Town’s CBD, among legal chambers and commercial buildings, the bold, sculptural form of the 11-storey Tuynhuys, a compact apartment building with 47 units ranging from 24m2 to 80m2, makes a dramatic, eye-catching addition to the surrounding cityscape. Not only does its ‘mini skyscraper’ approach –

partly inspired by Japanese architectural landmarks drawing from the Metabolist school such as Nakagin Capsule Tower designed by Kisho Kurokawa – introduce a new approach to compact-living in Cape Town’s CBD, on a scale suited to the character and grain of the city, but its exuberant, anthropomorphic design marks a decisive statement about the

return to decorative architecture before the mainstream takeover of utilitarian modernism in the early 20th century. In fact, lead architect Robert Silke makes the strong case that to forge new directions in architecture and urbanism – in many ways a return to traditional values in city-making more appropriate to our own times than the modernist urbanism

that dominated the 20th century – it is necessary to return to a time before the dominance of mainstream modernism and pick up another path where decorative and utilitarian modernism diverged. While many commentators note the building’s Art Deco influences, Silke places more emphasis on its origins in a crossover Continued next page

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The bold and exuberant design of Tuynhuys Apartments in Cape Town's CBD, by Robert Silke & Partners, combines Italian futurist and postmodern influences with elements of Japanese Metabolist architecture to pioneer a new direction in architecture and street-making in the city.



between Italian futurism and postmodernism, tracing a line from early Art Deco via the futurists, through to the Googie movement on the US west coast and in Miami, and on to the likes of Zaha Hadid – one of the few giants of contemporary architecture who kept the flame of decorative design alive. Silke points out that, apart from the firm’s philosophy and approach being rooted in an insistence on the value and appropriateness of decorative design to Cape Town’s character as a luxurious holiday destination, the boldness of Tuynhuys’s design was also a strategy to make the building commercially viable. The site itself is long and narrow, just 13 meters across, and without any of the usual Cape Town selling points such as views, light and location, so the architects and developers knew the building would have to distinguish itself on high design. At the same time, it had to remain sensitive to adjacent heritage buildings and deal cleverly with various zoning

The capsule-shaped windows that feature throughout the building do wonders for otherwise unremarkable views simply through their own shapeliness.

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restrictions, while “not shrinking apologetically”, as Silke puts it, and failing to make a significant architectural contribution itself. Tuynhuys is, nevertheless, respectful towards the charming Victorian turrets of Keerom Street Chambers next door. Rather than stepping back horizontally, however, in a more literal reading of the heritage and zoning restrictions, it steps back vertically along its façade. This approach immediately distinguishes it from the more common solution of topping off block-like towers with a ziggurat after reaching the height of their neighbours, which results in a somewhat weak and unattractive architectural and urban character. Thus, Tuynhuys not only gives breathing space to the significant architectural features of its neighbour, but it also

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The building's slightly anthropomorphic features at once add lightheartedness and enhance its emotional impact.

creates a more intentional and aesthetically resolved solution to the restrictions. “Once we started carving the building back like that, we couldn’t resist doing it with a curved finesse on it, and it started becoming quite organic,” says

Silke. Also, because the façade had already been voluntarily stepped back in plan, the step back in elevation required after a height of 25m could be aligned to create a continuous shaft along the front of the building, and a clean curved corner to run its length.

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The asymmetric shape also cleverly opens up what restricted views were available towards Table Mountain – particularly for the penthouses – through curved corner windows at a 45-degree angle from the front façade, while Continued next page

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The sleek monochrome approach around the foyer and entrance hint at the cinematic urban landscapes seen in the likes of Blade Runner or the interiors of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

editing out the bland urbanity and nondescript neighbours directly ahead. In fact, Silke points out that the building’s distinctive capsule or lozenge-shaped windows do much to enhance otherwise unremarkable views simply through their own shapeliness. Silke says that the artisanal skill of the contractors, JLK Construction, brought a remarkable level of finesse to the finishes, particularly the plastering on the façade. “They did it beautifully,” says Silke. “It’s like icing. The curves are perfect.” He says that through their workmanship, many details were beautifully resolved, and the quality of such local skill and labour precluded the need for imported finishes or skims. At street level, the main entrance appears prominent, despite its narrowness and the necessity for two parking entrances on the narrow plot. The parking entrances are recessed and deemphasised with motion-sensing lighting, which is only activated when a vehicle

approaches. Simple chain-link roller shutters, reminiscent of traditional inner-city shopfront security, provide a sense of permeability and an unfussy aesthetic while allowing for the natural ventilation of the parking and basement. The tarmac finish on the sidewalk not only fits in with the black-and-white aesthetic of the building, but seems to bring the urban streetscape up to and into the building itself. The resulting sense of continuity with its context further reduces the visual impact of the vehicle entrance, while allowing prominence to the main



entrance and foyer. The modest size of the futuristic white foyer is visually doubled with a mirrored wall. Opposite, another tiled wall runs seamlessly from the inside out, and the slim window frame facilitates an almost imperceptible transition from interior to sidewalk – another device that adds to its exaggerated sense of space. Its sleek monochrome approach and sinuous curves seem to hint at the cinematic urban landscapes seen in the likes of Blade Runner or the interiors of 2001: A Space Odyssey

– introducing further futuristic cultural associations, while adding a sense of drama and imaginative playfulness to the experience of arriving and departing. While the overriding impression of Tuynhuys might be its aesthetic exuberance and almost frivolous emphasis on fun, it makes a serious proposition about the future of architecture in Cape Town and offers refreshing and compelling new directions that come as a breath of fresh air after a century of the dominance of utilitarian modernism. Continued next page

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Drawing on futurism, and not forgetting the influence of Japanese high-density residential architecture, Tuynhuys demonstrates that both citymaking and heritage concerns can indeed be compatible with bold contemporary design. “There are a lot of very small, nicely located, quaint sites in nice parts of the city that have yet to be developed properly,” Silke points out. The “mini-skyscraper”, as he likes to refer to Tuynhuys’s proportions, is an “appropriate scale for Cape Town, given our city grid and the fact that this is not really a city that wants Dubai-scale buildings. South Africans aren’t really used to buildings cheek-byjowl like this, but I’m pretty certain it’s the future,” he concludes.

The 'mini skyscraper' dimensions of Tuynhuys, seen here from Long Street, are appropriate for the scale and grain of Cape Town's city grid.

PROFESSIONAL TEAM DESIGN TEAM: Kennedy Simbayi, Raa-ieq Simon, Daniel Wentzel, Michelle Barr, Sarah Schulman, Geoffrey Posnack, Wayne Muller, Alexander Geh, Robert McGiven, Robert Silke CLIENTS: Willbridge Property Company PROJECT MANAGER & QUANTITY SURVEYOR: BTKM STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Nadeson ELECTRICAL ENGINEER: GJ&A MECHANICAL ENGINEER: Design It Green CONSTRUCTION COMPANY: JLK Construction FIRE CONSULTANT: Neil Moir HERITAGE PRACTITIONER: Johan Cornelius XA CONSULTANT: GreenPlan WET SERVICES: Lawrence Benatar HEALTH & SAFETY: Safetycon



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iKhaya Capitec Bank’s new headquarters by dhk features innovative interior architecture that drives productivity and operational efficiencies.



apitec Bank, one of the largest and most progressive banks in Africa, has unveiled its innovative new headquarters, iKhaya, meaning ‘home’ in Xhosa. Designed by multidisciplinary studio dhk Architects, the three-storey curvilinear building is defined by its dynamic interior architecture, which embodies the company’s progressive outlook and embraces the concept of agile working. Striking and otherworldly, dhk’s holistic architectural approach considers both the exterior and interior to optimise corporate expenditure, internal flow and sustainability – demonstrating

that commercial offices can be innovative and cost-effective while driving operational efficiencies. Capitec’s success and growth over time meant that the company came to occupy numerous offices. These offices were geographically dispersed, resulting in departments becoming increasingly isolated from one another with the need to move between buildings to meet face to face. Consequently, Capitec opted to consolidate its staff and facilities into one operationally efficient headquarters. Located in the scenic Cape Winelands in South Africa, a key driver of the design concept involved capturing panoramic vistas and drawing the landscape within.

The building form optimises the shape and size of the site while referencing the brand’s distinctive curved logo. The three-storey superstructure wraps around itself, which creates a unique ‘doughnut’ shape and forms a central triple-volume atrium – an

Environmental performance modelling directly influenced the articulation of the façade, including areas of fenestration, glazing specification, glare control measures and solar shading.

internal ‘social spine’ at the heart of the building. Contributing to the contemporary appearance, white aluminium panels clad the building’s sinuous form, which is further accentuated with continuous ribbons of fenestration. Internally, the design resonates with the company’s progressive outlook – ensuring guests and staff unequivocally feel the spirit of the brand throughout the building. Once at reception, visitors are greeted by a generous triplevolume space that immediately showcases the sophistication and simplicity of the interior architecture. Wide open-plan floorplates loop around the periphery of the atrium, which are connected by a series of dramatic bridges and staircases. This was an intentional design element that inter-connects the various departments, creating opportunities for chance collaborative encounters and personal interactions. Continued next page



A central triple-volume atrium forms an internal ‘social spine’ at the heart of the building.

Left: White aluminium panels clad the building’s sinuous form, which is further accentuated with continuous ribbons of fenestration. Below: A series of dramatic bridges and staircases connect the various departments, creating opportunities for chance collaborative encounters and personal interactions.



Reinforcing Capitec’s brand identity, the company logo is embossed into the ceiling above reception. Overhead, clerestory windows and large roof lights ensure plentiful natural light and further facilitate the connection to the outside world. Meanwhile, touches of timber have been added throughout the office to introduce a feeling of warmth. The new headquarters by dhk fosters a company culture of creativity, innovation and collaboration with a large emphasis placed on optimising internal flow and departmental interaction. The first and second floors, containing the office’s open-plan work areas, are largely void of hierarchal structure and closed-off cubicles. Embracing the concept of agile working, a raised access floor throughout the building facilitates maintenance and future upgrades to services. On each level, a total of four ‘cores’ – containing centralised amenities such as kitchenettes,

meeting rooms, breakout areas, lockers, bathrooms and fire escapes – serve to augment the floorplates into departmental zones. Throughout the building’s ‘social spine’ there are a variety of breakaway areas; from a large ground-floor lounge at reception for guests to await meetings and co-workers to engage, to pause areas on bridges, and an internal landscaped courtyard for staff to rest. These spaces fuel creativity and innovation by allowing employees to slip away from their resident desks to enjoy a moment of solitude, conduct a private meeting or brainstorm ideas in small groups. Not only do these breakout areas increase job satisfaction, they also boost staff productivity and efficiency. Furthermore, there is a full-service kitchen and canteen area with ample seating, a small satellite café, and a grand multifunctional stadium staircase/seating area for company presentations and

The building form optimises the shape and size of the site while referencing the brand’s distinctive curved logo.


talks. Other useful facilities include a recording studio, Capitec Bank branch and an ATM lab facility. Capitec championed environmental sustainability and employee well-being throughout the building, particularly where it made sense and value could be demonstrated. Natural light is optimised via clerestory glazing, roof lights and internal courtyard windows, while artificial lighting is zoned and activated by sensors. Environmental performance modelling directly influenced the articulation of the façade. The process informed areas of fenestration, glazing specification, glare control measures and solar shading. Performance modelling also informed the primary ordering of the internal layouts. For example, a circulation zone was provided along the external perimeter of the building to distance resident desks from sources of radiant heat. Furthermore, the thermal mass of the concrete building

superstructure is exposed in various areas and the basement is naturally ventilated. Other sustainability measures include ice storage to offset peak electrical demands, a greywater system, water-saving fittings, building management system for extensive metering and monitoring, double-glazing throughout, use of good quality and low maintenance materials, locally sourced materials, water-efficient heat rejection, zero ODP (Ozone Depletion Potential) refrigerants, use of low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) finishes, borehole and rainwater harvesting for irrigation, water-wise planting and refuse management to encourage separation of waste and recyclables. To promote employee well-being, the building is purposefully limited to only two passenger lifts for its workforce of approximately 2 000. This is supplemented by a variety of generous feature stairs to encourage walking and limit the use of confined lift spaces. As such, the


Clockwise from left: Reinforcing Capitec’s brand identity, the company logo is embossed into the ceiling above reception.

fire escape stairs were designed for dual functionality: where the quality of finishes were upgraded, they serve as ‘communication’ stairs. Further promoting employee well-being and to ensure that the needs of universal access were met, Capitec engaged with a disability consultant and an acoustic specialist early on in the design process. The recommendations of both specialists were incorporated into the building. For example, sound-absorbing materials and acoustic separation between meeting rooms were included throughout the building to achieve a specified performance in terms of decibel reduction. Additionally, and beyond the requirements of the regulations, consideration of car parking locations, emergency evacuation, ablutions and vertical circulation, are all examples of how the spirit of universal and inclusive access have been addressed. Furthermore, Capitec rehabilitated a neighbouring area of public open space to be used by staff and the broader community as a recreational area for activities such as walking and running. Fittingly, the building also provides

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cyclist facilities and purposedesigned showers. Looking to the future, the development incorporates a car parking structure on an adjacent site that follows iKhaya’s core principles, designed for future adaptation into an office should there be a modal shift towards public transportation and less reliance on private cars. Peter Stokes, a partner at dhk and lead architect on the iKhaya project, says, “Capitec is a renowned South African brand that highlights values of simplicity, innovativeness and collaboration. dhk sought to create an extraordinary, worldclass office that is progressive and relevant in the South African context – designed to be agile, drive productivity, increase operational efficiencies and ultimately reduce company operational expenditure.”

A grand multifunctional stadium staircase/ seating area is used for company presentations and talks. A variety of generous feature stairs encourage walking and limit the use of confined lift spaces.


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PROFESSIONAL TEAM CLIENT: Bird & Company CLIENT/ CONTRACTOR: Barrow Construction ARCHITECTS: GLH Architects QUANTITY SURVEYOR: Barrow Construction STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: DSGN Consulting Tel: +27 (0)83 785 6111 Email: adhil@dsgnconsulting.com www.dsgnconsulting.co.za

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Elegant office A sculptural open circulation stair in steel, timber and glass, provides areas for casual meeting and incidental exchange.

18 Glenhove in Melrose, a speculative office building designed by GLH Architects, required an elegant building that could flexibly accommodate a selection of small to mediumsized office tenants.


ith the coming of the Gautrain station to Rosebank, this already unique Johannesburg neighbourhood, known for its artistic leaning, walkability, and characterful retail and working spaces, has grown dramatically. New developments have largely capitalised on the individualistic nature of the area, with a variety of striking galleries, boutique own-door and co-working spaces, as well as larger corporate offices, and creative independent shopping along with high-street retail. 18 Glenhove is a speculative office building designed for joint venture developers Barrow

Properties and Bird and Company, and built by Barrow Construction. The site occupies a prominent corner on the major thoroughfare of Glenhove Road, which directly links the M1 motorway to the heart of Rosebank. The clients required a timeless and elegant building, which could flexibly accommodate a selection of small to mediumsized office tenants. Good design and energy efficiency were prioritised, and as the client was also the contractor, buildability and quality construction were foremost from conception. Approximately 3Â 600m2 of office space is provided over three office floors in a strong L-shaped plan,

Both wings have north-facing balconies, serving as break-out and pause areas with relaxing views over the suburb.

which comfortably opens its wings to the Glenhove intersection. Access to the property is from the quieter side street, where generous parking is provided for visitors and staff on grade and below the building. At the centre of the L-shape, a welcoming triple-volume glazed entrance atrium draws people in. The lift and a sculptural open circulation stair in steel, timber and glass, along with the generous open bridges crossing the atrium and linking the office wings, activate this space and provide areas for casual meeting and incidental exchange. The core is supported with an efficiently planned service block of toilets and service risers. Backup water and power are provided to the building. Each office wing is well lit from two sides, and the spaces are two structural bays deep, providing flexible areas for a variety of space-planning solutions and ways of working, as well as future changes and churn. The western office wing is modulated with an angled façade that echoes

the road geometry outside, and both wings have north-facing balconies, suggesting ideal locations for break-out and pause areas with relaxing views over the verdant suburb. The groundfloor planted garden and terrace space offer further entertainment options for building users. The gardens throughout the property are indigenous. A combination of finishing materials are used in their natural state, setting the tone for an elegant and enduring palette. Off-shutter concrete is paired with stone cladding in a light crema marfil and a dark Zimbabwe black granite. Performance glazing is chosen to respond to the various orientations. The deep concrete roof overhangs assist in solar shading and stormwater runoff. The City Council had stringent requirements related to stormwater management and future road widenings along Glenhove, which the design respects and embraces with an attractive landscaping solution.



Zeroing in

The interior spaces are all aimed at creating a mood of rest and wellbeing through the use of colour, light and texture.

The REID Lifestyle Centre targets both Green Star and net zero certifications. PHOTOGRAPHY RDF PHOTO; LYT ARCHITECTURE


n May 2020, The REID Lifestyle Centre achieved a 6-Star Green Star Public & Education Building (PEB) certification. Part of an upmarket lifestyle estate situated close to the Marlboro Gautrain station, the building is also targeting a net zero Carbon Level 2 rating. Last year, Balwin registered over 16 000 units for EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) as part of an ongoing pledge to mainstream green lifestyle developments. These units are spread over 10 residential developments across South Africa, with each development sporting a Lifestyle Centre. “Balwin Properties is a proudly South African residential development company. We pride ourselves on developing affordable, eco-friendly apartments and strive to be national leaders in building green. Our valued clients reap the benefit of

this,” explains Steve Brookes, CEO and founder of Balwin Properties. “Over the years, we have introduced several innovations to make our developments more energy efficient, helping our customers manage their carbon footprint while reducing the burden of the cost of energy. Now our customers can apply for an ABSA Eco Home Loan, an added benefit of purchasing an EDGEcertified Balwin Properties home,” continues Brookes. The Reid lifestyle centre includes business, leisure and sporting amenities such as boardroom facilities; a restaurant, cinema and games room; a children’s play area; and a gym, swimming pool and sports fields. WETLAND REHABILITATION

Nomamfengu Mbele, Sustainable Building Consultant at Solid Green Consulting, explains that the siting


of the project provided interesting opportunities for the professional team. “The site – to the east of the N3 (Eastern bypass), south of Marlboro Drive (M60) and north of London Road (M40) in the Linbro Park area – falls outside the Central Business District, and contains a wetland. This challenging location encouraged the team to consider sustainability initiatives, which ensure that the development is contributing to its environment – including the development of a watercourse management plan, wetland rehabilitation, and a focus on ensuring minimal light pollution from the lifestyle centre.” The upgrade to the degraded wetland system, which is directly adjacent to the lifestyle centre, included using the wetlands as an attenuation and water-treatment system for stormwater. The lifestyle centre opens towards the

wetland area, and the landscape design integrates the swimming pool and restaurant with the wetland area. A nature trail through the wetland is also part of the wetland rehabilitation plan. RESOURCE EFFICIENCY

Mbele explains that, as the lifestyle centre is targeting a net zero carbon rating, its 15kWp photovoltaic solar system will be expected to meet 100% of the building energy’s needs – which is also possible thanks to the array of energy-efficiency measures that have been implemented. All enclosed spaces are individually switched, making it easy to light only occupied areas. And zoning does not end at the lighting system – the HVAC units have motion sensors that switch the units off if spaces remain unoccupied for a predetermined time. Balwin is


targeting an overall energy consumption of -9kWh/m2/year, far less than the 125kWh/m2/ year SANS10400 XA requirement. Air-quality sensors were installed to continuously measure the air quality, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, particulate matter (dust) and nitrogen dioxide in the centre. This information, together with data on energy and water consumption, is displayed publicly throughout the building as a learning resource, because the behaviour of users is critical to reducing consumption. Circuit level monitoring has also been implemented, which allows for a more specific data collection process from individual circuits to optimise operations and align with net zero carbon reporting requirements. The overall water demand of the building has been reduced to 800m2 per annum through the use

of water-efficient fittings, xeriscape landscaping and a grey-water system installed to reuse water used in the laundromat. As client, contractor and quantity surveyor on the project, Balwin Properties paid attention to the selection of construction materials, as well as waste management practices. This includes specifying concrete types that result in a 40% reduction of the quantity of Portland cement, steel products with 90% recycled content, and masonry units with a minimum of 20% perforation. Balwin also committed to 20% of the project contract value being dedicated to products sourced within 400km of the site; and 1% of the project contract’s value comprises recycled/reused materials. An internal waste recycling storage area has also been provided, which allows for occupants to further divert waste away from landfill.


The concept for The Reid was urban living surrounded by natural beauty, and the interior spaces are all aimed at creating a mood of rest and wellbeing through the use of colour, light and texture. Gabriel Hugo of LYT Architecture says that focus was placed on creating ambient light without glare, that changes over the course of the day as the sun shifts. “This was done using large overhangs, south-facing clerestory windows and rotatable shading screens. The ample natural light, together with views over the adjacent wetland, provide a strong sense of seasonal and diurnal cycles.” “Balwin’s Lifestyle Centres are a fundamental part of their offering to residents,” says Verissimo Tavares, Director at VTC Architecture. “From an architectural perspective, the focus was on passive design and responding to the development’s unique context.

Natural lighting and ventilation, together with insulation for optimal thermal control, have created a very pleasant interior environment. “Sustainability is also about how the building is used by people, now and into the future. This lifestyle centre building is people-centred and fit-for-purpose, with a scale that is appropriate to this development. I believe that it works well for the residents and will serve its purpose for a long time to come.” The centre’s windows have openable sections and, in spaces where this was not possible, wall vents have been installed to allow fresh air to circulate. In the gym, wall fans have been installed in strategic positions, to push the fresh air through the space. To enhance the connection to nature, several biophilic features were incorporated. Continued next page

The ample natural light, together with views over the adjacent wetland, provide a strong sense of seasonal and diurnal cycles and a sense of connection to nature.



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These include the use of natural material such as timber and stonework in the interiors, views over the wetland, and elements that evoke nature – such as the pool and its water fountain, which creates both visual and auditory interest. The objective of this connection with natural systems is to heighten both awareness of nature and, hopefully, encourage environmental stewardship of the surrounding ecosystems. Healthy materials were also specified where possible which, Hugo says, is becoming a norm in the industry. “Most construction industry suppliers are conscious of green design, so there is quite a wide variety of products available. This dynamic has changed a lot in the last 10 years – sustainability has become a selling point for suppliers.” KNOWLEDGE & INNOVATION

“Growing the knowledge economy is essential in these times of climate- and health-related stresses,” says Marloes Reinink, Director at Solid Green. “In order to respond responsibly to user needs, clients and professionals need up-to-date, quality, accessible data to inform their decision-making processes on new projects. This is why we applaud two of Balwin’s

initiatives that allowed us to target Green Star Innovation points for this project – financial transparency and upskilling of the professional team.” Mbele explains that Balwin committed to sharing the financial information related to the design, construction and operation of The Reid Lifestyle Centre with the GBCSA, thus contributing to the body of research regarding assumptions surrounding ‘additional costs’ associated with sustainable developments. The project also committed to providing the contracting and design team with greater knowledge and skills on the entire Green Star certification process through the

GSSAAP Online Course, which will also benefit future Balwin projects. Additional innovation points were gained by targeting two certifications – both the 6-Star Green Star PEB Design rating and the net zero Carbon Level 2 (Operational Emissions) rating. This encouraged the team to rethink their typical development processes to include sustainability initiatives from the outset of the development. In addition, the Residential Density of the estate was increased to over 70du/ha; and motorised transport was discouraged by ensuring that living units are within walkable distance of the Lifestyle Centre with its many amenities, and by designating parking spaces near building entrances for occupants with zero to low carbon-emitting modes of transport. Balwin’s ambitious targets for The Reid Lifestyle Centre have created a new standard for developments of this nature, by demonstrating that a more responsible way of developing and operating can become business as usual.

To enhance the connection to nature, several biophilic features were incorporated, including the use of natural material such as timber and stonework in the interiors.


PRO J EC T # 4 REI D LI FEST YLE CE NTRE The Reid lifestyle centre includes business, leisure and sporting amenities such as boardroom facilities; a restaurant, cinema and games room; a children’s play area; and a gym, swimming pool and sports fields.



City heights INTERIORS

The interiors of this Cape Town home, designed by ARRCC, combines unexpected materials to create a space that is energetic with high-functioning entertainment zones, while offering the ultimate in comfort. BY TRACY LYNN CHEMALY PHOTOGRAPHY GREG COX


The living area opens up to an enclosed terrace lounge with custom furniture in neutral tones, reflecting Cape Town’s beach lifestyle.


n Cape Town’s mountainside stands a striking angular building by renowned local architecture firm SAOTA. Complementing this terraced home, the interiors, by interior-design leader ARRCC, are a treasure trove of gemlike materials and custom furniture that pull together the client’s brief for ultimate comfort within highfunctioning entertainment zones. A profusion of metallic surfaces is juxtaposed with warm wood and splashes of bright colour, invoking a sense of dynamic living. Says ARRCC designer Nina Sierra Rubia of the entrance hall, “The walnut panelling is a reflection of the warmth in the rest of the home, while the metal fleck ceramic by Chantal Woodman for OKHA, standing on a suspended black swing server, tells you that there’s fun to be had inside.” The patterns in the marble-like flooring and customdesigned geometric grey woollen rug are complemented by ceramic installation art by Hennie Meyer, each piece inviting closer inspection in its uniqueness.

Below: The top-storey master suite continues the home’s affinity for walnut, grey, mustard, and curvaceous forms. An artwork by Andrzej Urbanski hangs over the bed, while the wall on either side of this brings warmth through walnut slats with brass fittings that light up. The limited edition Kaggen Side Table, by OKHA in collaboration with Atang Tshkare, and the marble-topped coffee table by Tonic create visual texture in the lounge area.

The walnut dining table was custom-made with a marble lazy Susan and is surrounded by Arti-forte chairs from Limeline that complement the table’s rounded form.

SAOTA designed the house with all guest bedrooms on the bottom storey to elevate the main living area and master bedroom to a penthouse. Dividing the bedroom and bathroom is a slatted, faceted walnut screen. “It creates yet another beautiful point of interest, while defining the two spaces and adding privacy,” explains ARRCC Director Mark Rielly. The bathroom walls continue the language of the marble-like floors, presenting the notion of five-star indulgence. Reached via a double-volume glass stairwell that introduces mountainscape views, the living area is a riot of calculated contrast, where light-reflective metallics – polished, tarnished or patinated – hover above and surround precious marble and wooden surfaces. This is evident in the pared-back

kitchen, where a dark marble is inserted into a patinated brass countertop with granite work surface. Brightened up with an optically abstract painting by Andrzej Urbanski from Everard Read, this area also encompasses the dining suite. The walnut dining table was custom-made with a marble lazy Susan and is surrounded by Arti-forte chairs from Limeline that complement the table’s rounded form. Such circular shapes come to play in the sculptural light, too. Brass rings cast a halo over the table, an atmosphere that is mimicked in the lounge with its polygon-shaped light. Separated from the dining area by architecturally slatted walnut screens, the lounge continues the dialogue of fascinating form. Its custom sofa, with angled bend,

allows for complete immersion, offering views of the ocean, courtyard and television, which also acts as a mirror, further enhancing the sense of space. On either side of this mirror is a decorative acoustic fabric with brass detailing, cleverly concealing the speakers, while below the mirror stands a bio-fuel fireplace surrounded by Emperador marble. Such cosiness is best enjoyed while lazing on the reclining chair upholstered in a mustard felt by COR. Two purple OKHA Gloob chairs, on either side of a Minotti side table, introduce colour to this otherwise muted area. The custom-made server and coffee table cluster create interest in their unusual design, with the Tom Dixon Melt lamp acting as sideboard sculpture, maintaining the metallic pops of attraction around

the home. On the opposite end of this floor is the bar, a stylish nook for mixing drinks under Lee Broom hanging lights from Crema. It’s here that the combination of material and form is at its most condensed, with the slatted ceiling wrapping itself over the back wall, blurring into the wooden splashback that doubles up as illuminated shelving. The bar itself is a custom structure, fronted by Pietra Paesina Laminam slabs. Tom Dixon bar stools and Classicon side tables from Limeline add vibrant colour and light reflection to this intimate hangout. “This entire living-area floor opens up to an enclosed terrace,” Mark explains, “which can be closed completely for weather protection.” Here, Nina and the ARRCC team created two outdoor entertainment Continued next page



Left: In the lounge, the sense of space is enhanced with a mirror, with decorative acoustic fabric panels with brass detailing on either side, cleverly concealing the speakers, while below it a bio-fuel fireplace is surrounded by Emperador marble. Two purple OKHA Gloob chairs introduce colour to this otherwise muted area. Below: The striking angular building was designed by renowned local architecture firm SAOTA.

areas – one encompassing another lounge with custom furniture in neutral tones, reflecting Cape Town’s beach lifestyle, and the other sporting a cantilevered bio-fuel fireplace for drying off after a swim in the infinity pool. Entrance at the back of the building is deliberately understated; a modest canopy shelters the front door opening onto a landing from which a broad spine gently traces down the natural gradient alongside a generous garden courtyard. The corridor ends at the kitchen, whose island – a solid block of granite – forms a fulcrum with the principle living areas placed at right angles, parallel with the lagoon. The kitchen looks out over open-plan dining and lounge areas towards a fireplace and picture window framed in a massive concrete hearth wall. The top-storey master suite continues the home’s affinity for walnut, grey, mustard, and curvaceous forms, bringing these to play in a more masculine way, and then softening the aesthetic

with linen effect curtains. Another Andrzej Urbanski hangs over the bed, adding an interesting geometric language to the space. The wall on either side of this brings warmth through walnut slats with brass fittings that light up. The limited edition Kaggen Side Table, by OKHA in collaboration with Atang Tshkare, and the marbletopped coffee table by Tonic create visual texture in the lounge area, while a painting by Shany van den Berg on the entrance screen welcomes one to this bedroom floor, offering a taste of what’s to be found beyond – a space for full mental and physical immersion. “It’s a dynamic home,” says Mark. “One where unexpected materials combine to create a space that is as energetic as its owner.” PROFESSIONAL TEAM INTERIOR DESIGN: ARRCC PROJECT TEAM: Mark Rielly, Nina Sierra Rubia, Amy King ARCHITECT: SAOTA PROJECT TEAM: Philip Olmesdahl, Bobby Hugill, Erin Gibbs, Duke Williams




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GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR SOLAR LIGHTS THIS WINTER Solar lights are fast becoming a popular choice for homeowners, gardening enthusiasts and landscapers alike, thanks to the multitude of benefits they offer. They’re cost-effective to run because they convert energy from the sun into electricity, and their lack of wiring makes them easy to install and maintain. Solar fixtures charge up during the day, enabling them to provide hours of illumination at night without relying on a power source. The word ‘solar’ means ‘relating to the sun’ and sunlight plays a big part in powering up these efficient fixtures. But what happens when sunlight is not guaranteed? Can solar lights still function under the grey canopy of the winter sky? A sunny, cloud-free day will always offer optimum conditions for charging solar panels. But this doesn’t mean

your outdoor solar lighting is rendered useless in overcast weather. Winter skies can be dotted with cloud cover a lot of the time, but solar lighting will charge regardless. This is because it does not rely exclusively on sunlight to charge – exposure to long periods of daylight works too. If the solar panel receives enough hours of daylight on a cloudy day, the fixture continues to work. Summer days typically last 12 to 14 hours, while winter days are much shorter, giving your solar panels less time to charge. This requires a little extra effort on your part to maximise your solar lighting’s efficiency in the winter months. Take note of these four points to get the most out of your solar lighting year round: 1. Regardless of the time of year, the sun is always at its strongest at midday. With this in mind, position your

solar lights so they receive the full noon sun. 2. Buildings, plants and trees can cast shadows over your solar lights, preventing them from direct exposure to the winter sun’s rays.

Install your fixtures in a location that won’t become shaded as the sun moves during the day (northfacing is best). Make a point of observing your fixtures throughout the day to see if any unwanted shadows fall on them. 3. Solar lights will charge even when turned off. Turn them off during the day to ensure maximum energy output at night. 4. Depending on where you live, winter weather often means rain and wind, which can cause leaves, dirt and debris to fly around and settle on your solar fixtures, inhibiting their performance. Keep the panels clean by giving them a wipe with soapy water and a soft cloth. www.eurolux.co.za






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HYGIENIC EUROPEAN RESIN FLOORING FOR SA MARKET Acrylicon resin flooring systems, renowned in Europe and soon to be distributed in South Africa by KBAC Flooring, offers ultra-fast curing time coupled with high compressive strength. The hygienic flooring system has shown remarkable sales growth during 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and KBAC expects strong interest in the durable system locally, particularly with intensified emphasis on healthcare facilities. Some of the many advantages of Acrylicon flooring, developed in Norway and now produced at a high-tech plant in Germany, include: • Hygiene: Acrylicon resin system, which does not require fine fillers, is laid at 2:1 aggregate to resin ratio, compared with 6:1 in most

The resins are used extensively by the medical profession. • Bond strength: The special primers of Acrylicon are designed to achieve deep penetration into the substrate and subsequent chemical bonding of the body, and sealer layers ensure that Acrylicon is permanently welded to the base. • Chemical bonding: Each Acrylicon layer chemically fuses to the previous layer to ensure that the total system, including the primer coat, is totally monolithic. • Chemical resistance: With full resistance to lactic acid and most other organic acids and alkalis, Acrylicon is ideal for food production environments. It is also UV stable and will not degrade in

resin systems. It therefore provides a totally sealed and hygienic system with no pores or air holes in which bacteria can grow. • Curing and speed of installation: Acrylicon is fully cured in two hours and can then be put into full use,

colour. • Mechanical strength: Acrylicon flooring is resistant to the effects of cleaning chemicals and spillage in the working environment. • Durability: In the UK, the oldest Acrylicon installation is 25 years

whereas most other resin flooring systems’ setting time can take between three to 14 days. • Chemical stability: Acrylicon resins are fully inert and stable after two hours and there is no ‘gassing off’.

old (Middlesbrough Riverside Football Stadium, installed 1995) and in Europe there are many over 30 years old, across many different industries. www.kbacflooring.co.za


Effect, the new range from AGT, bridges the gap between luxury 12mm laminate floors and the more affordable 8mm laminate flooring. Effect is a 10mm commercial laminate flooring inspired by peaks and summits around the globe. These wooden reprints and matching surface patterns bring the natural beauty of the outdoors into your home. Realistic wooden photographic reprints in natural tones with a painted four-sided micro-bevel (V4) and an embossed in register (EIR) finish give the surface of these unique planks a three-dimensional look and feel. Manufactured to European standards (EN13329), this flooring is wear resistant, stain resistant, light, impact resistant, and far surpasses EU standards with a low 12% swell rate. The thicker 10mm plank offers exceptional acoustic values and superior moisture resistance. It is available in eight colours: • Everest and Alps, inspired by the light and bright colours of snow on rising peaks that meet the clouds above • Pamir, Altay, Ural, Tibet, which are natural and richly coloured flooring • Fuji and Toros are darker volcanic-inspired toned planks. The AGT Effect range comes with AC4 rating, meaning that it has a high abrasion class, so that it can be installed both commercially and residentially. This visually striking range comes with a five-year commercial / 15-year residential manufacturer’s warranty, so specifiers, designers and builders can rest assured their purchase today is covered in the future. Plank dimensions: 1 195 x 189 x 10mm, one box covers 1.8068m2. www.finfloor.co.za



ROYAL SHOW GROUNDS QUARANTINE SITE The Royal Show Grounds in Pietermaritzburg, site of the annual Royal Agricultural Show, were earmarked to become a KZN quarantine facility for housing suspected COVID-19 patients. As mentioned by Minister Patricia De Lille, “One of the key tasks for the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure has been to identify state-owned buildings that could possibly be used as quarantine sites in all 44 districts and eight metros.” The use of this space in Pietermaritzburg would allow for an estimated availability of 2 141 isolation beds, and an approximate 479 beds for quarantine purposes. The purpose of this site is to serve as a ‘stepping-stone’ – a space where suspected COVID-19 cases from congested

communities can be tested and, if necessary, isolated pending their results. Four of the existing halls within the show grounds were selected for the project, but they all required a revamp in preparation for the intended use. Sika’s Regional Sales Manager, Mervyn Naidoo, specified Sika products for the project, which were accepted by the KZN Department of Health. So, it was with great pride and pleasure that Sika were able to join forces with the Department of Health, and West Side Trading Contractors, to be involved in such a project. Sika was tasked with the responsibility to provide the relevant products to redo the floors. They had to be flawlessly smooth and in meticulous condition to cater for the beds and specialised

healthcare machinery. Contractor West Side Trading’s focus area was the actual revamping of the floors within the halls, using the Sika products. The revamp had to be done within a limited timeframe to make the space available soonest. The halls required 4 600m2 of a 2mm self-levelling epoxy floor coating, and Sikafloor®-263 SL ZA, in light grey, was used. It is a solvent-free, epoxy resin-based floor coating with the intended purpose of self-smoothening floors. Additional floor repair required the application of Sikafloor®-200 Level, a self-levelling cementitious screed with both waterproofing and a high level of hardness and strength qualities. As the floors were required to be

seamless, the expanded joints were covered with the specified Sikagard®-720 EpoCem®. Thereafter, in order to build ramps to level the floor, Sikadur®-43 ZA, a three-component repair and filling mortar, was applied. On conclusion of the project, President Ramaphosa took a ‘walkabout’ at the Royal Show Grounds and was more than satisfied with the results. The KZN MEC shared his sentiments and was furthermore most pleased that said results were achieved in only 12 days. To initiate and develop a project of this magnitude proves that our government cares, and every citizen should too. It was an honour for Sika to be a part of this project. Sika definitely cares. www.sika.co.za


Optimise a balance between comfort and toughness by combining softness under foot and durability. Sika ComfortFloor® is flexible enough to provide comfort in areas where personnel walk or stand for long periods of time, but tough enough to stand up to high levels of pedestrian traffic, chair castors and wheeled loads. This resilient flooring solution reduces footfall sound and horizontal noise transmission while providing an unprecedented number of advantages to building occupants. ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Soft and warm Hygienic and easy to clean Resilient Flexible Good air quality due to no VOC emission

Call us for more info: 010 823 8688 www.sika.co.za




HOW WILL OUR BEHAVIOURS CHANGE? As global citizens are going through the motions of the impact of COVID-19, there are various schools of thought – which are largely based on our own perspectives and informed by the lens through which we choose to view the world. Navigating our way through the daily content and research can be extremely disconcerting. Some research contradicts the previous article we just read – and then some advice is a real challenge to live out practically. What do we believe and what should we do? Feeling ‘overwhelmed’ is an under-statement! Being a flooring manufacturing company, and being obsessed by products we make, we have obviously been concerned about the effect that flooring may have in the spread of the virus. At this stage, there is no real evidence that shows whether floors hold any major risk for us. We know we need to keep things clean and continuously wipe surfaces down with disinfectants and sanitizers, and if we consider the more frequently touched items in our lives, they would be our taps, door handles, keyboards, cell phones, TV remotes, steering wheels, etc. We need to discern for ourselves what is practical and

how we can continue to function reasonably. Having to steam clean or ‘COVID-19 fog’ our homes as a daily ritual seems largely impractical. Performing this act in the work environment is perhaps more logical due to the increased footfall, but we also question this as it is only effective until the next person walks in – so it is unlikely that this is a sustainable solution going forward. It does seem clear that the primary way the virus spreads is through close contact with others, so the biggest impact we can have is to keep our physical distance and to wear a mask in public. It is also clear that we manage ourselves in this way out of


love for others, and less so because of the fear of being contaminated or infected. Ultimately, we do not see any surfaces or spaces being completely germ free – they never have been and never will – it’s just not possible. We are curious, though, whether this pandemic is changing our behaviours in less invasive ways, i.e removing our shoes before we enter the home. This is a common practice in other regions of the world where it could be considered a cultural mindset. We have a new appreciation for mental health and the

impact that stress and anxiety is having on all of us. Previously, this topic may have been taboo in our social circles – but it seems like we are now able to have a loving, heartfelt conversation in this space as we can begin to empathise with each other. We anticipate a shift in consumer demand/ behaviour as we are more deliberate about mental wellness. We will celebrate colour for what it is and layer it into spaces more meaningfully, and more significance will be put on bringing the outdoors indoors. www.belgotex.co.za



THE FUTURE OF FLOORING Posi-Joist combines the lightness of timber with the strength of the Posi-Strut steel web for strong floor and roof systems. Posi-Joist enables designers to span far greater distances than would be possible with alternative timber products. The depth, length and width can all be adjusted to produce an enormous number of different specifications, each with clearly defined performance criteria. “The unequalled design freedom is what continues to set this system apart in the industry. From the ability to design creative floors and roofs in domestic, commercial and industrial applications to the variety of internal room layouts that a clear span offers, there are many benefits to using Posi-Joist,” says Hennie Viljoen, Marketing

Manager of MiTek. Posi-Joist also allows easy access for the installation and maintenance of services in the floor zone. With the ever-increasing need for MVHR (Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery) systems, this solution can streamline the construction process. Posi-Joist has been used in countless projects across the UK, Australia and New Zealand with great success. THE BENEFIT OF SPANNING GREATER DISTANCES While an initial linear metre cost comparison with solid joist alternatives may suggest otherwise, Viljoen says that Posi-Joist’s ability to span greater distances than its timber competitors, coupled

with its open web design, gives contractors several important cost-saving advantages. “The span capabilities mean that Posi-Joist can often allow for increased joist centres when compared to alternative systems, reducing material content. The installation of services and utilities is far simpler and quicker with Posi-Joists, reducing both labour costs and build-up time on site,” says Hennie. MiTek is very confident that Posi-Joist will have a huge impact on the South African market once introduced.

Joists are manufactured in a controlled offsite environment, ensuring a quality product that is delivered ‘made to measure’, allowing for speedy erection. “Exceptional floor performance from a wide fixing surface makes flooring easy and controls shrinkage. Precision engineering reduces those tiresome return visits and remedial work so that the job is done far quicker and the contractor achieves worthwhile savings,” concludes Viljoen. www.mitek.co.za




MATCHING A CONTEMPORARY ESTATE’S OPULENT DESIGN WHILE REDUCING UTILITY COSTS WITH AIR-CONDITIONING INNOVATION Fourways Airconditioning, the sole distributors of Samsung air conditioners, helped to bring world-class temperature-controlled comfort to The Azure with world-class Samsung DVM S Eco air-conditioning systems. The Azure, in Camps Bay in Cape Town, is an exclusive residential estate nestled between the Lion’s Head and Twelve Apostles mountains, and serene Camps Bay Beach. Each of the four luxury homes in this residential development is stylish and contemporary, yet timeless in elegance – each finished with elemental stone and timber that harmoniously blend with the beauty of the natural surroundings. With the price of electricity in the South African residential space continuing to get more expensive due to the country’s worst energy

crisis in history, consumers are struggling to keep up with the increase in tariffs. Limited space, while not compromising on the design of a first-class elegant property, was also a priority. With this in mind, HVAC consulting engineers Jo Lubbe & Associates sought to integrate an energy-efficient heating and cooling system that would help keep occupants’ utility costs at a minimum, while still providing maximum capacity and taking up limited space. As a solution, accredited HVAC installers Airwise Airconditioning approached Fourways Air, who assisted with the design that fitted with outstanding ecoconscious HVAC technologies. A total of four AM120 Samsung DVM S Eco outdoor units, combined with 28 Samsung Inverter Midwall


Split indoor units, were chosen for the job, totalling 114 300btu cooling capacity per residence. A prime benefit of the Samsung DVM S Eco system is its advanced performance and top-class energy efficiency, coupled with compact design and minimal noise levels – ensuring not only maximum savings on electricity but also maximum comfort with optimal temperature control and undisturbed peace and quiet. It includes an innovative Dual Smart Digital Inverter compressor with Vapour Injection for an industryleading energy-efficiency rating as low as 3.82, and the flexibility to be installed almost anywhere, regardless of its location or distance from the building, with a piping length of up to 160m. Stylish and sleek, the Samsung Inverter Split

units with wired-touch controllers were the best option due to limited ceiling space. The Samsung inverter mid-wall units also include full HD filters that filter out dust particles and, due to their anti-bacterial coating, effectively remove harmful biological contaminants, which is of the utmost importance in this current environment we find ourselves in. Overall, the installation resulted in quality airconditioning systems that match the grand design opulence of The Azure – where first-class comfort always comes first. When an air-conditioning project calls for a modern design, leading-edge air-conditioning solutions and energy efficiency, Fourways Airconditioning and Samsung deliver! www.fourwaysaircon.co.za

Multi-room climate control with restricted installation space

Samsung DVM S Eco

The Samsung DVM S Eco is the world’s largest capacity and most compact side-discharge unit, which also offers a high level of energy efficiency. It’s ideal for homes or businesses that need plenty of coverage, but have limited space. Available in a wide range from 6HP up to 14HP, the DVM S Eco’s largest model measures only 940mm wide and 1630mm high, thereby providing an aesthetically-pleasing solution to the challenge of multi-room airconditioning. It also delivers world class energy efficiency with advanced compressor technology and industry leading ESEER’s up to 9.22.

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BLUSHING BLUE HUE The Color Guild Color Trends 2021 report has named its colour of the year for 2021. It’s a pale blue hue called Simple Serenity (0614). The Color Guild is comprised of more than 55 regional paint manufacturers and eight licensees from 16 different countries, of which Excelsior is a member. The report calls Simple Serenity “the colour of hope, comfort, and possibility”. It’s a colour that captures the spirit of “starting afresh after isolation, dreaming about all the possibilities like travelling and creating fresh, playful home renovations and ideas”, explains

Lorraine De Beer of Excelsior Paints reports on the Color Guild Color Trends 2021.

Lorraine De Beer of Excelsior Paints. “It’s about indulgence, reflection, creativity and letting your mind wander.” She says that, combined with various blushing tones, this sophisticated and calming shade of blue conjures up feelings of serenity and peace – a great combination for a restful space in the home. “It is an ideal couple, two colour palettes that bring out the best,” says De Beer. “The possibilities of this colour pairing are limitless.” The report argues that in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will see our homes in a

whole new light. “With a deeper understanding of how colour creates respite and reassurance, these hues make your home a haven.” “As we move towards connecting with others once again, inviting friends to our homes, the refreshing colours of blue and blush brings in the outdoors in cool yet warm, neutral tones,” says De Beer. “Whether you think it’s a throwback to the 80s or a statement about current attitudes towards femininity, you can’t deny that this light, desaturated pink-blue is the colour of the moment.” She

concludes, “It sure isn’t solemn, it sure isn’t dour.” www.excelsiorpaints.co.za




THE FUTURE OF THE WORKPLACE A closer look at the post-pandemic office space. There’s no doubt that the way we engage and operate within public spaces has forever changed. As we return to work, businesses will also need to become more aware of personal space, safety and hygiene strategies to keep their workforce safe. Dulux Colour Expert Palesa Ramaisa, and Dessiner Interior Architectural owner Stefan du Toit, share their views on what the future of the workplace could look like as we enter a new era of work as we know it. INCREASINGLY DISPERSED WORKFORCE Relooking how to make smarter, more creative use of space will be on top of the priority list as companies balance cost of rentals or real estate while adhering to responsible social distancing regulations. One such consideration will be limiting the amount of people within a space. Research by Global Workplace Analytics forecasts that up to 30% of people will remain working from home several days a week, even when the pandemic has passed. Communal points like washrooms and canteens will also be considerably altered. “With workers being cautious to return to the office amidst the pandemic, we are seeing a shift in design trends, with open office spaces and hot desking being replaced with a more contained and controlled working environment,” says du Toit.

WORKPLACE RECONFIGURED Many analysts predict that even the way to construct and design these workspaces will change. Many see an increased focus on ventilation, wider corridors and doorways with more partitions between departments becoming the new norm. “There is going to be a great deal of change within the workplace and employers will need to create clear instructions to guide workers on what is considered safe and responsible behaviour. To reduce stress and anxiety, office spaces may adopt cool and calming colours like soft shades of tranquil blue, and the balance and growth of green,” says Ramaisa. FASTER ADOPTION OF THE SMART OFFICE As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has noted, “we have seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months”. This fast track into the digital transformation that we’ve been talking about for years has finally been put into action. Thus, an increased awareness of social distancing will probably also fast track


‘smart office’ technology. This will not only streamline interaction but, more importantly, decrease frequent physical touchpoints like doors, elevators and shared office equipment like printers. As seen within the Smart Home environment, we may likely also see a rise in voice-based interfaces, and fibre and 5G may gain momentum. INNOVATION AT THE CENTRE OF IT ALL “Design with purpose and innovation has become the norm, and social distancing regulations will create new opportunities and restrictions to the design process,” adds du Toit. Examples of such innovations are smarter furniture options with built-in spacing and the adoption of technology like Dulux’s Sterishield. It is a water-based hygienic paint that actively inhibits bacteria, promoting a hygienic environment and making it ideal for hospitals, clinics, care homes, food and catering services, offices, schools and high-traffic areas. “With the rise of the uber-conscious consumer, we predict that eco-friendly

offerings like the Dulux Trade Ecosure range with low VOC levels will rise to the fore as people become more aware of the impact to their health and the planet,” explains Ramaisa. AFTER HOURS “Even social settings outside of the workplace – places like restaurants and bars – will adapt to restrictions for sit-down clientele. These are clients that will be eager but nervous and unsure of how to interact in this new normal. New sources of revenue will have to be adapted to retain turnover per square metre. Adapting the space to allow for the sale of take-out and home-cooking items can create a ‘restaumart’ that serves a broad segment of the dining market,” says du Toit. More so, every space that can create a narrative will be even more important in design, for colour, texture and overall experience. The narrative and sense of wellbeing portrayed will contribute significantly in easing anxiety in staff during these uncertain times, and to pave the way forward for this new era within the workplace and beyond. www.dulux.co.za


Promotes a hygienic environment.

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Door openings made easy.


ASSA ABLOY LAUNCHES POWERFUL BIM-ENABLED TOOLS FOR DOOR HARDWARE SPECIFICATION New tools make it easy to streamline processes and reduce costs throughout the project lifecycle.

South Africa ASSA ABLOY, the global leader in door-opening solutions, has launched powerful 3D, BIM-enabled tools that simplify door hardware specification while assisting projects to stay on time and within budget. • OPENINGS STUDIO™ is a smart, BIM-enabled product specification tool that helps users create complete and tailored door-opening solutions. • ASSA ABLOY BIM DOOR SOLUTIONS offer a high-quality selection of BIM-ready openings packages that can instantly and cost effectively be embedded into designs. ASSA ABLOY Openings Studio® revolutionizes the way you create and visualize 3D doors, frames and hardware in your building projects. Our Building Information Modeling (BIM) software tools offer complete door opening information to help architects, contractors and building owners design, construct and maintain products in their buildings. • • • •

Cloud-based plugin integrates with BIM software, such as Autodesk Revit® Renders complete openings with hardware, and generates CSI specifications Extensive, non-proprietary product database with budgetary pricing Access to manufacturer catalogs, data sheets, instructions and more

To download ASSA ABLOY Openings Studio or contact us, visit ASSA ABLOY on the link www.assaabloyopeningsolutions. co.za/en/specification-bim/ Or simply scan the QR code


011 761 5000 za.info@assaabloy.com www.assaabloyopeningsolutions.co.za

OS advert52 85mmX258mm draft 1.indd 1 2020/08/05 13:44:40 & DESIGN AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2020 LEADINGARCHITECTURE

OPENINGS STUDIO and BIM DOOR SOLUTIONS add value to all scales of building projects and applications. At the push of a button, stakeholders such as architects, specifiers, contractors, installers and building managers benefit from features such as: • Product information and performance data to comply with budgets, building regulations, project requirements and environmental assessment schemes • Informative 3D views of door solutions and associated hardware, aiding the ability to create and integrate designs with a distinctive edge • Data in multiple formats for quick integration in native BIM environments and easy collaboration with other

stakeholders • Frequent updates to incorporate new products and technology, ensuring state-of-the-art functionality and design. “Both tools offer plug-and-play BIM-enabled solutions for doors and hardware – whether you choose from the ready-made BIM DOOR SOLUTIONS packages or get an innovative, tailored solution through OPENINGS STUDIO,” says Randen Lannas, Head of Architectural Specifications & Projects. “Not only are the tools simple and convenient, but they also enhance design and presentation, improve knowledge sharing, and make it easy to comply with the highest environmental standards,” says Lannas. OPENINGS STUDIO and BIM DOOR SOLUTIONS are designed to accelerate specification and add value at every stage – from design through to build and beyond. “This BIM capability opens the way to better visualisation, more choice, streamlined decision making, efficient design and build processes and – most significantly – enhanced collaboration. By giving our partners more time to focus on what they do best, we help them step out of a 2D environment into a 3D world of new possibilities,” says Lannas. Architects and specifiers can access OPENINGS STUDIO and BIM DOOR SOLUTIONS at www.assaabloyopeningsolutions. co.za/en/specification-bim


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Tel: +27 11 396 8140 info@safehousesa.co.za www.safehousesa.co.za




DISCOVER THE NEW SAINT-GOBAIN AFRICA DESIGN AND SPECIFICATION TOOLS Saint-Gobain Africa is launching a brand-new online reference hub for all Saint-Gobain solutions, making it easier than ever for architects, engineers, specifiers, construction professionals, installers and home owners to find information about the right systems for their project and obtain the resources they need. The free online hub for Saint-Gobain Design and Specification Tools has been custom designed by Saint-Gobain Africa’s dedicated all-star, female Technical Support and Development team – all architecture graduates – to support their customers, as well as design and construction industry professionals, in realising their vision of a comfortable and sustainable built environment with Saint-Gobain solutions. The new Saint-Gobain Design and Specification Tools platform will offer a variety of solutions for projects under a single, convenient reference hub. The platform will essentially provide a customer-centric, beautifully designed and packaged portal that will organise all Saint-Gobain systems under the banners of Walls, Ceilings and Floors, for simplicity and ease of use. Under these banners, you will have access to an interactive drywall solutions guide, free BIM files, specifications, drawings, guidelines, installation guides, material calculators, system selectors, brochures and contacts for all of Saint-Gobain

products and systems. This will provide Saint-Gobain’s customers and partners with access to a library of files created by the company’s brands for each system presented in appropriate formats. It will make it easier for architects, engineers, construction professionals and the home owner to retrieve information on Saint-Gobain systems, access and share resources, including product files, which will ultimately improve decision-making in the African construction industry across all the regions in which Saint-Gobain is available. “We understand how precious time is and our customers are at the centre of our activities. The primary objective of the new platform


is to support efficiency, as well as improved workflow and processes. The customer is empowered to ‘shop’ for solutions based on project-specific requirements,” says Sathia Govender, Technical Solutions Manager at Saint-Gobain Africa. He adds that the new platform will also include examples of inspirational projects to create a sense of the possibilities of what can be achieved with Saint-Gobain systems. The platform will be hosted on the Saint-Gobain Africa website, and will operate similarly to an online shopping experience, putting the user in control of the resources they select and download. Clients can easily gain free

access to these new resources simply by creating an account and registering for access to this online tool. The information included on this platform will be updated regularly so that it is always current. It will also be possible to gain access to Saint-Gobain BIM solutions from more than 50 countries, and to access the global library. “This reaffirms our commitment to innovation and tailoring solutions based on our customers’ needs, especially during these challenging and unprecedented times,” says Govender. For assistance with your project, please contact the Saint-Gobain Africa Technical team at saint-gobain. technical@saint-gobain. com or call 0860 272829.

Saint-Gobain Africa launches a design and specification tools section on their website as a reference hub for all architects out there.

For more information go to www.saint-gobain.co.za


HOW A SOUTH AFRICAN ROOF TILE INNOVATION WILL RECYCLE 29 MILLION PLASTIC BOTTLES PER YEAR BY POWERHOUSE CORP A proudly South African company, Harvey Roofing Products (a division of Macsteel), famous for Harvey steel roof tiles, is developing a high-tech new roof tile innovation from 98% waste material. The ‘EcoTile’ roof tile has the ability to eliminate 29

Africa. With recent focus on the effect that discarded plastic products have on ocean life and our natural rivers and dams, Harvey EcoTile’s development could not be more timeous. The tiles, engineered from a mineral polymer blend, are a superior alternative to heavier clay or concrete roof tiles. Harvey Roofing Products

million two-litre used plastic milk bottles from landfill sites in South Africa. Each tile will utilise 3.8 recycled bottles and is 100% recyclable. In addition, the product input does not require any water resource, an increasingly scarce commodity in South

General Manager Sales & Marketing, Albie Jordaan, says the innovative product has been developed to outperform conventional clay/ concrete tiles in every way. “We realised that for EcoTile to gain acceptance in the construction industry, the


product has to outperform conventional tiles in all functional areas, as well as be aesthetically pleasing,” says Jordaan. “EcoTile is four times stronger yet three times lighter than concrete tiles. Combining these advantages makes it possible to transport four times more EcoTiles than conventional roof tiles, limiting

Products has the necessary engineering expertise, manufacturing capacity, supply chain and distribution footprint to produce and supply a consistent product. Aesthetically, the shape of an EcoTile is similar to that of a Double Roman concrete tile but its fixing methodology will result in a roof being a single

transportation cost and on-site breakages. We estimate that breakages can be reduced by up to 10% in the full value chain. Most importantly, endless maintenance on horizontal roof ridges will be a thing of the past.” The idea of composite roof tiles is not new. Experimentation started in the early 90s and similar tile concepts do exist elsewhere in the world. However, none have captured market share due to a lack of economy of scale, UV stability challenges and stringent quality control on material inputs. As an established roofing manufacturer, Harvey Roofing

impregnable unit. Given the engineering of the product, it will display symmetrical lines once installed. This means a complete roof will be weather-, water- and dust-proof as all gaps are eliminated. EcoTile will provide opportunities for community development as the recycled plastic needed will be sourced from community projects. Product testing, including fire resistance, wind uplift and accelerated weathering, has been completed and Harvey Roofing Products estimates full-scale production will commence in November 2020. www.harveyroofingproducts. co.za


STYLE CONFORMITY WITH TECHNICRETE’S CONLEAF PAVERS Whether it is a residential estate or a commercial park, style conformity plays an important role in the success of such developments. The choice of paving plays a role, not only for appearance purposes, but also for future maintenance planning. These were the key factors when the owner of a house in a small residential complex in Herbert Baker Street, Groenkloof, Pretoria, decided to demolish and revamp their home after 15 years. Maxi Pave, the contractors for the owner’s house rebuild,

refurbished property. Managing Director of Maxi Pave, Leon Veldsman, says, “Technicrete’s Conleaf and Bond Brick pavers are aesthetically pleasing and the longevity of the products make them ideal for this residence. Technicrete supplied the original paving to this small complex many years ago, but after seeing the Conleaf design and colour installed at one of the residences, the owners decided to re-pave the driveways and entrances of the other three units in the

available in all standard colours such as Autumn, Terracotta, Grey, Plum, Slate and Tan and is suitable for domestic driveways, municipal

and factory roads, and suburban streets. Technicrete’s Bond Brick is a traditional paver that is not only economical but durable. It

contracted Technicrete to supply 1 500m2 of Conleaf Autumn 60mm pavers and 150m2 of Bond Brick Autumn 55mm pavers for the parking and driveway areas of the

same manner.” The Conleaf paver introduces gentle curves into paving, creating attractive patterns, pleasing lines and durability. This block is

parking areas, pedestrian pavements, pathways and commercial developments. The larger 80mm thickness can be installed at petrol station forecourts, industrial

is also available in various colours and thicknesses and is mainly applied to parking areas, pathways, commercial and domestic surfaces. www.technicrete.co.za

AXOR MYEDITION: BEAUTY IS NOW INTERCHANGEABLE AXOR mixers and showers have always struck the perfect balance between function and form; finding that unique – and often elusive – convergence where science and aesthetic pleasure meet. Now, AXOR’s team of world-renowned designers and architects brings you the MyEdition range. MyEdition is the next step in the evolution of bathroom design, that truly allows you to

personalise the most intimate space in your home. This exquisitely minimalist mixer range comes in a variety of colours and brings in a refreshing new set of personalisation options. The outstanding difference in AXOR MyEdition is that there are over 225 choices of material, covers and designs, to meld seamlessly with the preferred look and feel of your bathroom. And not a single detail has been overlooked. Choose from a variety of cover plates – from classic to avant-garde and anywhere in-between; from marble to leather and glass to granite. One of the most unique

additions to this range is the mounting plate, which accommodates your design of choice. You can even custom-make your own – as many South African designers recently did. The AXOR MyEdition competition saw some of South Africa’s finest design talent set their creativity free to conceptualise and create their own cover plates for a chance to win a trip to Germany and the incredible AXOR Starck 240 showerhead, valued at R10 999. And the results were as diverse and multiculturally inspired as the vast South African landscape. The winners of the competition were: • First place: Ryan Olivier • Second place: Landart Studios • Third place: Andrew Mboyi But there is also more to

AXOR MyEdition than striking good looks. Encased within its smooth curves is innovation that creates an eco-friendly flow rate for more economical water usage – in a time when the water crisis is particularly close to home and sustainability in design is beyond essential. AXOR MyEdition is not the mixer you grew up with. Every flawless line is a reinvention and the technology within it is a revelation. MyEdition remains true to AXOR’s four basic tenets of sustainable design: reduction, richness, unobtrusiveness and separation. MyEdition is harmony and distinction – for you, by you. It is as unique as your character, with a distinctive charm of its own. And it will change the way you feel about water forever. www.axor-design.com



Box Office:

the readymade work-from-home solution PHOTOGRAPHS GRAEME WYLLIE


ox Office is a modular home office unit designed to fit the South African work-from-home context. It is a response to what the architecture practice Boogertman + Partners see as a growing pressure in the market to find a dedicated space to work productively and comfortably from home. “The idea is to provide a flexible solution that creates a quiet and welcoming workspace that fits into all types of home spaces,” says Greg Reid, associate director at Boogertman + Partners. “For many homeowners or families renting townhouses or duplexes, there isn’t enough space to have two family members enjoying the comfort of a study.” The unit can be flat packed and assembled inside a large internal living area, or it can fit into a garden corner, veranda or in a parking bay in a residential complex. The Box Office units come in three different models: one that is fitted for indoor use and two that are weatherproofed with increased

levels of acoustic and thermal comfort insulation for use outdoors. “As we adapt to the hybrid model of splitting working-from-home time with travelling-into-theoffice, we wanted to provide a solution that promotes comfort and productivity at an affordable price,” says Reid. If you consider the saving on travel, possible tax rebates and potential corporate subsidies for Box Office, the cost of the unit broken down on a monthly finance plan makes Box Office affordable. For people renting but looking for workspace solutions, Box Office is a moveable asset. “As part of our Design the Future innovation response to COVID-19, we have looked for practical solutions that can scale to our changing environment,” says Reid. “Box Office works for a teenager needing a gaming room or a study unit for exams, and its flexibility is its opportunity. The practice is also exploring how Box Office extends beyond home use when you combine units. “Smaller players in the hospitality


industry could offer hygienic, safe work units for business travellers, and local retailers looking to fill empty spaces could offer shared workspace hubs. The opportunity for the idea will grow in the market as people find new

uses for Box Office. It is exciting and demonstrates the power of architectural design to work at different, much-needed levels, as we work together to build the business of the new normal.” www.boogertmanandpartners.com

Find our branches at www.technicrete.co.za

p a v i n g | m i ni n g | m a sonr y

PAVING FOR: • Driveways • Roadways • Pavements • Walkways

| ker bs | eros i on pro tec ti o n| ret ain in g wa ll s |d ra

RETAINING WALLS FOR: • Earth embankments • Steep channels • Slopes • Bridges / river banks

Technicrete is a subsidiary of ISG, a leading supplier of innovative infrastructure products to the construction and mining markets in Southern Africa.

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s | Corporate Identity | Perforated Façades | Expanded Metal ther Louvre | Façade C a e W & ladding ens unscre S | s g n i l i | Ce mns Colu

Building Art Light, rhythm, balance and attention to detail are the hallmarks of great art. Alania Building Systems’ custom designed, technologically advanced aluminium building solutions brings your project to life by creating functional yet beautiful structures. Every project we undertake benefits from design innovation, exceptional service and uncompromising quality of workmanship and materials from a team of solutions-driven professionals who stop at nothing to ensure inspirational results.

Johannesburg • Cape Town • Durban info@alania.co.za Tel: (+27 11) 683 1774


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