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10 THE BRIEF Editor’s note and book review.



When buildings are designed to be water-efficient and economical, they become part of the solution to environmental concerns.

12 INTERNATIONAL Oodi, the new Helsinki Central Library in Finland, designed by ALA Architects, was recently awarded first prize at the 2019 International Urban Project Awards.

46 DOORS & WINDOWS The wide variety of materials that can be used for doors and windows, including wood, glass and aluminium, each have their own distinct advantages.

65 DRAWING BOARD What’s new in the world of architecture and design.


BLUEPRINT 14 THE LEONARDO Co-Arc International Architects’ design for The Leonardo in Sandton, Africa’s tallest tower, realises the complex requirements of an innovative commercial model as a contemporary classical architectural landmark.

26 BOTHA’S HALTE PRIMARY SCHOOL A state-of-the-art school for farm community children on the outskirts of Worcester designed by Meyer & Associates applies ecological and sustainability principles, while respecting the cultural heritage of the area.

32 NEW EDUCATION BUILDING, 36 SANDTON CITY UPGRADES SOL PLAATJE UNIVERSITY Sandton City’s recent The new Teaching Practice Building for the School of Education at Sol Plaatje University, by URBA Architects & Urban Designers, makes a beautifully crafted and contextually appropriate contribution to the campus and the city.

refurbishments, extensions and innovations, designed by the shopping centre’s original architects, MDS Architecture, showcase the reasons behind the iconic shopping centre’s success.

The tower references distinctly regionalist typologies such as the traditional corbelled huts found scattered in the Worcester district and the lower parts of the Greater Karoo Tiaan Meyer, Meyer & Associates, Botha’s Halte Primary School [p26]

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ED'S NOTE It feels good to end the year on a high note – and architecturally, they don’t come any higher (at least in Africa) than The Leonardo, the continent’s highest skyscraper. While there are other buildings under construction that will eventually overtake it, for the moment, the Leonardo is it. While its neoclassical styling might divide opinion, it nevertheless stands as a beacon of hope and a symbol of commitment to the country when the state of the economy has caused a lot of uncertainty. What I found heartening when I toured the building with the architects from Co-Arc international, who designed it, was the fact that, because of the state of the economy, deliberately labour-intensive construction techniques were used to maximise employment opportunities.

I also liked the idea that, while skyscrapers are often symbols of hubris – the Carlton Centre which was Africa’s tallest building for nearly half a century was built on the back of an economic boom – the Leonardo was built as a system rather than as an object. It wasn’t necessarily envisioned as Africa’s tallest building when it was first designed, and could have been topped off and completed at a number of levels. But it was designed in such as way that sections could be added during construction as market demand made it commercially viable, so it reached its landmark height organically and viably. May 2020 follow in this spirit of optimism and remarkable achievement.







Thirty of the world’s leading architects, including Norman Foster, Thom Mayne, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, talk about the houses they designed for themselves over the past decade. What inspired them, what were the constraints, how did their concepts take shape? Author Michael Webb explores the creative process and traces the influence of architects’ houses over the past two hundred years, from Jefferson’s Monticello to the creations of Charles and Ray Eames, Toyo Ito and Frank Gehry. Texts, images, sketches and plans are interwoven to illustrate houses that differ widely, in size, material, character and location. There are urban infills, rustic retreats, experiments, and fusions of new and old. They all make a statement, modest or ambitious, and each reflects the personality and tastes of its owner. These architects have accepted the challenge of doing something out of the ordinary, turning constraints to advantage. They give different answers to a crucial question: how can a house enrich lives and its surroundings? Spacious or frugal, refined or rough-edged, daring or reductive, these adventurous dwellings will inspire other architects and everyone who would like to design or commission a house that is one of a kind.

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odi, the new Helsinki Central Library that opened in December 2018, was recently awarded first prize at the 2019 International Urban Project Award, advanced by WA magazine from Bejing and Bauwelt magazine from Berlin. The award aims to initiate debate on the value of architecture in stimulating the evolution of architecture and urban environments within various models of urban context from around the world. Additionally, the building was selected as both the jury and people’s choice winner of its category in the 2019 AZ Awards, as well as shortlisted for this year’s WAF Awards, Architizer A+ Awards and EU Mies Award, and longlisted for Dezeen Awards. In Finland, it won the 2018 Steel Structure of the Year award. The building is in the heart of Helsinki, only a couple of minutes’ walk from the central railway station, and consists almost entirely of public space, offering a wide selection of services, mostly free of charge. Its design divides

the functions of the building into three distinct levels: an active ground floor, a peaceful upper floor, and an enclosed in-between volume containing the more specific functions. Oodi opens directly to the surrounding cityscape, dissolving the border between indoor and outdoor areas. The Kansalaistori square seamlessly continues under the entrance canopy and into the building. The wooden front façade arches over the ground floor as a dramatic inhabited bridge-like structure. The resulting columnfree lobby space is suitable for all kinds of events. The massive entrance canopy forms a covered outdoor space and allows the building’s functions to expand to the square. The middle floor consists of flexible rooms, nooks and corners inhabiting the spaces between the trusses of the bridge structure. These enclosed spaces are designed to accommodate group working areas, recording studios, editing rooms and the Urban Workshop with


equipment such as 3D printers, laser cutters, soldering irons and sewing machines for the visitors’ use. On the top floor, the best features of a traditional library meet the most recent technologies. The open space is topped with a cloud-like undulating ceiling. The serene atmosphere invites visitors to read, learn and relax. The top floor also offers unobstructed panorama views of the city centre through the floor-to-ceiling windows and from the large terrace on top of the canopy. Oodi was built using local materials and with local climate

conditions in mind. The wooden façades are made from prefabricated spruce modules. The complex curved geometry was designed and manufactured using algorithm-aided parametric 3D-design methods. Detailed analysis of façade performance informed the environmental solutions and helped minimise the need for mechanical environmental control systems. The glass façades allow for large amounts of daylight in the public areas. The energy consumption level of Oodi is that of a nearly Zero Energy Building (nZEB).



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Africa’s tallest building The design and appearance of the 55-storey, 233m-high skyscraper, The Leonardo in Sandton, Johanneburg is, according to the architects, “the consequence of a very functional set of requirements expressed in its making”.

Co-Arc International Architects’ design for The Leonardo in Sandton might not originally have envisioned Africa’s tallest tower, but its innovative commercial model and design as a system rather than as an object have realised a record-breaking architectural landmark. PHOTOGRAPHY SUPPLIED

Continued next page



PRO J EC T # 1 TH E LEO NARDO Left: On the seventh floor, a restaurant spills out onto a recreational deck with a swimming pool and beautiful views over Sandton. This area also houses a spa and gym. Below: The reception desk on the first level, which houses a restaurant, coffee shop and conference centre, juxtaposes architectural finishes with contemporary local art adorning the ceiling.


he Leonardo at 75 Maude Street in Sandton is the tallest building in Africa. The R3bn project, developed in partnership by the Legacy Group and Nedbank CIB, has 55 floors and stands a record 233m high. The Carlton Centre, previously Africa’s tallest building and completed in 1973, reaches 223m. This new architectural landmark has redefined the Sandton skyline, and introduces a new concept of luxury living to the Sandton CBD. The first two levels from the ground floor include public access, with retail, hospitality and conferencing facilities. These two levels are sandwiched between four basement parking levels and six above ground, making a total of 1 251 parking spaces and forming the podium of the building. On the seventh floor, restaurants and bars, a spa and gym, and a Montessori creche as well as a swimming deck constitute the recreational and lifestyle zones. Above that is five floors of office space, and up to the 38th level, 234 residential apartments. The next 10 floors house a hotel, and above that are eight penthouse suites, including The Leonardo Suite, a three-storey, 3 000m2 penthouse. The narrow street front and limited public space, a consequence of the building being a tower, is maximised and made inviting and hospitable to the public with a colonnade that encourages pedestrians to walk beneath it and engage with the building, particularly the retail space on the ground floor. These three-storey granite columns and glass canopy at the entrance not only provide shelter, but also help to unlock the potential of the public space in front of the building to become a pedestrian thoroughfare.

Co-Arc’s partner emeritus, Francois Pienaar, who is largely responsible for the concept and design of the Leonardo, also planned the urban framework between the Sandton Convention Centre and Nelson Mandela Square, and in working on the Leonardo was able to see his earlier urban design realised. The colonnade also translates and expresses the magnitude or high-rise aspect of the building at street level, which is difficult to comprehend at its base. But between the Johannesburg Roads Agency widening the road to create four lanes and a drop-off feeder road, a small piazza-type space extends the main entrance area to the street.


The main reception area opens directly on the street, encouraging direct interface with the public. The first floor lobby includes a lounge, coffee shop, business and conference centre, and reception area. There is also a range of sophisticated, large-scale artworks throughout the new Leonardo building, realised by contemporary art production team The Trinity Session, who also commissioned or collaborated with a number of local artists and crafters. The large-scale artworks in the lobby include a sculpted representation of a cross-section through the Johannesburg reef

on the walls of the stairwell, led by sculptor Damien Grivas, showing the strata formed by tectonic plates shifting and colliding to form the intricate patterns of geological formations. A twostorey-high floor-to-ceiling mural by Mbongeni Buthelezi running the full length of the lobby, “painted” in melted recycled plastic, defines the opposite wall adjacent to the escalator – deliberately positioned towards the back of the lobby to draw people through the space and play out the narrative aspect of the artwork, enhancing the public experience of the building. Continued next page

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The original site included an existing basement four to five levels deep and foundations which, rather than being excavated, became the footing of the Leonardo. The massive transfer columns necessary to shift the grid have become a feature of the architecture, exposed at the interlinking levels, expressing the structure of the building at key points, and celebrating its design and materials with honesty and integrity. The fins at the top of the building, forming its crown, are an expression of the structural force running through the building. The spines running up the centre of the north and south elevations also express the geometry of the columns and define the balconies. On the seventh level, the “heel columns” are expressed – another instance of the way in which the synergy between structure and architecture can be read in the design. The architectural aesthetic of the building complements developers Legacy and Nedbank CIB’s branding and the architectural styles associated with other buildings in their portfolios in the area, such as the Michelangelo and Nedbank’s Sandton headquarters. The architects describe the form of the building as “the consequence of a very functional set of requirements resolved in a contemporary classical manner”.

Perforated aluminium screens clad the podium-level parking, creating a dynamic, permeable façade. Here, the structural elements of the design are honestly expressed in the concrete columns.

Continued next page

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Interestingly, the Leonardo was not designed as an object, but rather as a system that could respond to market demands – a “complex growing organism”. Thus, the design became an expression of the structural logic that was taken though the building. This flexible architectural strategy worked in conjunction with a highly innovative commercial model, designed to be complete and viable at a variety of heights. Its height was boosted during the construction as it became financially viable to add each new section. Each group of levels is supported vertically downward (hung from above) as well as upward from below, which means that they remain supported and intact in the event of a catastrophe. Deliberately labour-intensive construction methods – largely created by building with concrete and masonry – were selected to maximise the employment opportunities created by the project and to include locally available skills. Thus, the Leonardo has become not just a symbolic beacon of hope during a difficult period in South Africa’s economic development, but actively maximised the social and economic upliftment of those involved in its construction. As a result, the very methods and materiality of the building became


a celebration of the labour and skills of those who have contributed to its construction. The building created an estimated 2 000 direct employment opportunities and between 18 000 and 20 000 indirect employment opportunities through materials supply chain, manufacture and industry. The external protective “skin” of the building involved the pioneering use of Dekton, a brand of engineered stone. The material was an easy choice because of its aesthetic, high strength, UV resistance, stain resistance and ability to withstand both high and low temperatures. The pleasing colour and texture mixes

a satin finish with the roughness of quartzite giving the building its solid appearance. The high strength meant the thickness could be reduced compared to natural stone – making the façade panels much lighter. This was a great benefit to the façade engineers on the project – design, engineering and planning consultants Arup – who had to get creative with the installation of the façade at the upper levels because the footprint of the building, as well as its height and the lack of available on-site storage, made the use of additional cranes and scaffolding prohibitive.

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Above left: The Leonardo helps unlock a pedestrian thoroughfare connecting Maude Street and Nelson Mandela Square, an urban design penned by Co-Arc's Francois Pienaar and realised in the design of this building. Left: Simple minimalist detailing of the architecture and a restrained palette of textures combines to foreground the art collection assembled by The Trinity Session.


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Inspired by unitised glazing systems, Arup designed storeyheight support that made it possible to manufacture large Dekton panels off-site, and then hoist them up with a mini-crane from inside the building – eliminating the need for scaffolding. Like the glass-curtain sections, the Dekton was structurally bonded to the aluminium frames. This is the first project of this magnitude not only in South Africa but worldwide to use this type of construction system. Arup also designed the steel mast that tops the building and brings it to its full record-breaking height. Global expertise provided an elegant damper solution to deal with the dynamic loading causing by wind at that height. Other noteworthy suppliers include Afrisam, Samsung, distributed by Fourways Air, Belgotex Floors, bathroom accessories by Geberit, Melibo


and Kludi (imported by WiiN). Major Tech, a specialist importer of lighting, electrical products, switches and sockets, has supplied 10km of the strip lighting, over 10 000 panel lights, and 500 star lights to the Leonardo, and a unique lighting automation system. Major Tech has used AA-rated LEDs throughout the building, so the Leonardo’s lighting needs will be met by roughly 10% of the power required by regular incandescent lightbulbs. The Leonardo includes a Skydeck on the 55th floor, from which the public can take in the surroundings from the highest building in Africa. This landmark in architecture and engineering is not merely symbolic of a new era of African development, but stands as a reminder of how innovative and flexible approaches can realise unexpected heights of achievement.

The beautifully expressed “heel columns” on the new Restaurant, Aurum, on the seventh level are decorated with a copper-mesh installation inspired by the flight-paths of birds, as part of the art installation by The Trinity Session.

PROFESSIONAL TEAM DEVELOPER: Legacy Group in partnership with Nedbank CIB ARCHITECT: Co-Arc International Architects Inc QUANTITY SURVEYOR: SM Schneid FAÇADE ENGINEERS: Arup STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS: Ritchie Midgley Consulting Engineers Pty Ltd South Africa MECHANICAL SERVICES ENGINEERS: WIN Consulting Engineers ELECTRICAL ENGINEERS: MNS Consulting Engineers WET SERVICES CONSULTANTS: Wat-Sol Design Technology CC FIRE ENGINEERS: Special Fire Technology Rational Designs Pty Ltd LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS: Landmark Studios SOUND ENGINEERS: LINSPACE OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY CONSULTANTS: Cairnmead MAIN CONTRACTOR: Aveng Grinaker-LTA


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Cutting-edge upgrade to historic farm school A state-of-the-art school for farm community children, Botha’s Halte Primary School on the outskirts of Worcester, designed by Meyer & Associates, is the result of a private-public partnership that harnessed top-level educational, commercial and design skills and experience, to make the much-needed rural facility a reality. PHOTOGRAPHY SUPPLIED

The exterior of the new Botha's Halte Primary School is dark to blend into the landscape and the curved roofscape was inspired by the rolling foothills of the Witzenberg Mountain range, the majestic backdrop to the school.



Continued next page




he new Botha’s Halte Primary School design was undertaken by architectural firm Meyer & Associates, a practice with an extensive range of national education sector projects under its belt. Central to the school’s design focus was to showcase educational best practice from around the world by making digital technology available throughout the teaching spaces. All classrooms are equipped with the latest technology, such as e-beams, which are connected to the internet. The fully fitted and furnished buildings can accommodate 240 learners, roughly about double its former capacity. The learners are accommodated in a single stream from Grade R to Grade 7. According to architect Tiaan Meyer, the Botha’s Halte school design applied ecological and sustainability principles, while respecting the cultural heritage of the area. “These considerations influenced the architectural form of the buildings but are also made visible throughout the complex and as such form part of the teaching and educational processes – therefore a didactic approach has been followed in the architectural design of the buildings,” he says. The original school was founded during the 1920s and was known as “Anna Zaal”. Comprising a single hall, it served as the first school building on the property and has been restored as the new focus and reception area for the school. The added complex sought to meld into this and the situational context. The buildings are all tucked into the landscape with the curved roofscape imitating the rolling foothills of the Witzenberg Mountain range, which also acts as the majestic backdrop to the school. The roof combines Kliplok

Above: At the heart of the school is the Discovery Centre, where learners can gather in small groups under the “tree-of-knowledge columns”. Below: Planted roofs incorporating a broad range of indigenous species act as natural insulation against the harsh external climatic conditions.

roof or wall cladding, a unique system from Global Roofing Solutions with a concealed fastening method, with Rheinzinc eaves and detailing, installed by subcontractors HH Roofing. The external colours of the buildings are recessively dark, to blend into the landscape, with only minimal bright accents. However, the historical components remain in their original white. “To the one side, the Anna Zaal reflects the link with the lime-washed building traditions of the past, and on the other, the tower represents a symbol of a green and increasingly ecologically sustainable future,” explains Tiaan.


“On a more subliminal level, the tower also references other distinctly regionalist typologies such as the traditional corbelled huts found scattered in the Worcester district and the lower parts of the Greater Karoo, and other natural structures such as ant heaps, which itself hold lessons for ecological design and building practice in Southern Africa.” Inside, the interiors are light and bright, with an abundance of colours to stimulate the creativity of learners. Furniture and equipment have purposely been selected with this design intent in mind.

Included as part of the school is an auditorium-type multipurpose hall, two specialist classrooms with sewing machines, handwork and woodwork equipment, as well as a science laboratory. A Discovery Centre, where learners can gather in small groups under the “tree-of-knowledge columns”, forms the heart. Here, they make use of the multimedia equipment, computers, a screenedoff audio-visual area, and good oldfashioned library books. The area also serves as break-out space from the adjacent classrooms, for group work or individual teaching. Continued next page


The carefully integrated landscaping design embraces the site's unique topography to incorporate embankments for running, clambering, rope climbing and sliding. The historical components of the school remain in their original white, but have been melded into the broader complex.

Below left: The original school hall dating back to the 1920s has been restored and converted into the main reception area for the school. Below right: Furniture and equipment have been selected with the intention of creating a stimulating and engaging learning environment.



Operationally, the teachers involved with the school are provided continuous training for the use of the high-tech learning aids. They are also supported by the WCEDs and SUNCEP (University of Stellenbosch Centre for Pedagogy in the Faculty of Education). Mark Saint Pôl, Director of Square One Landscape Architects, who spearheaded the careful design and integration of the external elements of the school, explains that best practice landscape architecture principles have been used, which allows the landscape to harvest, filter and store all excess waste and stormwater run-off in a biofiltration retention basin that also serves as an attractive forecourt for the school. This water is then reused for irrigation and creates a natural habitat for indigenous wetland species. Dry river beds have been designed to not only prevent seasonal flooding, but create nature-play environments and interactive learning opportunities. The building and surrounding spaces are sensitively integrated into the landscape through planted roofs that act as natural insulation to the harsh external climatic conditions. Square One incorporated a broad range of indigenous species onto the roof, promoting a multi-sensory experience for kids and teachers while minimising

solar heat gain for the buildings. A substantial play space at the back of the school, featuring two Astro turf play areas (one for older learners for formal and competitive play with stepped spectator seating, and the other a secure exploratory play area for younger learners) takes full advantage of the sunken building profile to create an environment that is sheltered from the prevailing summer winds. The play elements embrace the site’s unique topography to incorporate embankments for running, clambering, rope climbing and sliding. Drawing on the agricultural patterns of the valley, Square One also created a sequence of play spaces to cater for a variety of ages and capability levels. Focusing on tactile and natural play, rockeries, sandpits and natural


materials were incorporated to create an interactive environment that allows for natural expression and engagement through play. Bright blue play equipment was custom-designed to maximise opportunities for fun, exercise, social interaction and positive risktaking while complementing the architecture and seaming it into the

receiving environment. The adjacent Renosterveld area has been cleared of invasive alien species and is in the process of regeneration. Over time, it will surround the school, reducing its footprint and providing an ecological learning environment. Food production is an important part of the school and the addition of a citrus courtyard and a large

Above: The play area at the back of the school takes advantage of the sunken building profile to create an environment that is sheltered from the prevailing summer winds. Left: The interiors of the school feature bright colours and natural light to stimulate the creativity of learners.


food garden mean that the learners have the chance to grow and eat their own produce. The food garden supplies nutritional food to the feeding kitchen, which is designed as part of the school building complex, and forms a critical part of the WCED school feeding scheme for learners from disadvantaged communities. In addition, a partnership with the adjacent farm will allow them to use the surplus produce in their estate restaurant, Bosjes Kombuis. “Overall, the

school bears testimony to the value that can be added when the architects and landscape architects work together to create truly meaningful and enjoyable projects,” comments Saint Pôl. From an environmental perspective, new solar and wind generator capacity now allow the buildings to function largely independent of the electrical Eskom grid. The benefits of these aspects are clearly demonstrated to learners via interactive displays

throughout the school. Rain and stormwater is harvested for irrigation and stored in a large reservoir under the school buildings. The reservoir is topped up by a borehole as well as with the clean, treated effluent from a sewerage package plant. A large rugby field/soccer pitch is also planned for the lower parts of the site, which would be able to be shared with the broader community after hours and over weekends.

Tel: +27 (0)21 930 4934 Cell: +27 (0)84 440 9273 Email:

PROFESSIONAL TEAM ARCHITECTS: Meyer & Associates Architects Urban Designers (Tiaan Meyer, Eben Grobler, Sumien de Bruin, Lehobo Lehobo, Pierre du Plessis, Philip Slabbert) INTERIOR DESIGN: Meyer & Associates Architects Urban Designers (Tiaan Meyer, Lehobo Lehobo, Sumien De Bruin) LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS: Square One Landscape Architects (Mark St Pôl, Larissa Heyns, Hugo van Niekerk) QUANTITY SURVEYORS: Two

Tel: +27 (0)21 801 6476 Email: or

II Quantity Surveyors (Deon Vermeulen, Wesley Addison) STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS: Grobler & Genote (Eward Grobler, Franel Le Roux) CIVIL ENGINEERS: Cegela Consulting Engineers (Andre van der Merwe, Bernard Steyn) ELECTRICAL ENGINEERS: Buhrmann Consulting Engineers (Herman Buhrmann, Myron Dietrich) BUILDING CONTRACTOR: JJ Dempers (Pty) Ltd LANDSCAPING CONTRACTOR: Afrilandscapes PLAY AND SPORTS EQUIPMENT: Synsports CABINETRY: PAV Holdings (Pty) Ltd CLASSROOM FURNITURE: KCSA (Vicki Martin) DIGITAL TEACHING AIDS: Edit Micro Systems

The play areas include an Astro turf for older learners for formal and competitive play with stepped spectator seating.




Humble and hardworking The new Teaching Practice Building for the School of Education at Sol Plaatje University, by URBA Architects & Urban Designers, makes a beautifully crafted and contextually appropriate contribution to the campus and the city beyond.


he new Education Building at Sol Plaatje University. which was awarded a SAIA regional award, is set within a coded envelope as dictated by a robust urban design framework for the wider campus. It forms part of a family of buildings that work in concert to define a range of public spaces and movement routes that extend well beyond the site and into greater Kimberley. The legacy opportunities lie in the collective rather than the individual. Because of its specific location, the building is consciously quiet in its expression and recognises its primary role as a background building and responsible neighbour towards both the abutting public spaces and surrounding buildings. Given these facts, it is not possible to read the building as an object in isolation, detached from its evolving context. The urban design effort and the client’s consistency in realising an integrated vision should be recognised as the most significant ingredients towards leaving a meaningful legacy. “Throughout the competition and construction phases, our aim has been to value inclusivity through a ‘responsive’ approach,” says Henri Comrie. This includes the development of climatic, cultural and place-making responses, which were aided by the original competition brief. The focus offered this competition prioritised

collective content over individual form, particularly since such content was taken seriously by a jury that values urban design. This was never going to be the place to showboat in a glossy way. “This has provided us with much joy in quietly delivering this building without the usual calls for bells and whistles that dogs commercial practice,” says Comrie. SOLID AND VOID

The building is stereotomic in its conception and relies on solid brick mass to mitigate the severe climatic conditions. In this specific building, which is orientated north-south, heat conditions are compounded by


extensive east- and west-facing façades that justify the thickening of walls. Externally the four-storey, cubist volume as inherited from the urban design framework was moulded and sculpted not only in relation to the functional programme, but to dynamic variables such as pedestrian movement routes, optimal light ingress and legibility concerns. A combination of these responses provided opportunities for honest design expression within the uncluttered brick envelope as architecture parlante, or an architecture that speaks. Continued next page

Above: The solid brick mass on the east- and west-facing façades mitigate against extreme heat. Right: The four-storey cubist volume was moulded in relation to the functional programme as well as to dynamic variables such as pedestrian movement routes and light ingress.



PRO J EC T #3 SO L PL A ATJ E Far left: The bold form of the building is supported by unfussy detailing, reflecting the honesty of the rural vernaculars of the Northern Cape and in recognition of available skills. Left: The crisp natural light of the Northern Cape penetrates through to the circulation spaces creating shifting patterns.


The solid mass is hollowed out internally to provide a hierarchy of teaching, movement and amenity spaces. The spaces are moulded to provide light ingress and natural airflow. The circulation spaces are not climatically sealed and are a continuation of the external circulation system, thus becoming shaded internal streets rather than claustrophobic movement conduits. It is possible to stop and talk while others that are late for class have space to rush past. WORKING WITH NATURAL LIGHT

The bold form of the building is supported by unfussy detailing in recognition of available skills and low maintenance requirements. It is also a reflection of the honesty found in the landscape, the rural vernaculars and the people of the Northern Cape. Apart from the local influences, the work of Louis Kahn at Ahmedabad and Laurie

Baker in Kerala were important references in their liberal use of imperfect bricks and flawed concrete work to create expansive surfaces that only get better with time as patina settles. Internally, it borrows from Luis Barragán in the use of rendered, often brightly coloured surfaces softly bathed in ever-changing, indirect or filtered light. “These influences remain central to much of the work produced by our practice at various scales over time and is part of an ongoing experiment in mastering the use of natural light,” says Comrie. “The crispness of the light in the Northern Cape is something special to work with. Light penetrates deeper and the etching of solid against void becomes more pronounced. Around sunrise and sunset, the moody Bergendal Light brick that was used glows magnificently and with an effect that far exceeds our expectations. At noon it becomes dull and recedes.”

Above: Inside the building, brightly coloured surfaces reference the work of Luis Barragán .


The statutory rules associated with measuring usable floorspace have been utilised to define passages as ambiguous spaces by introducing seating and standing work desks along perimeters and termination points. In certain places, this dimension of the design has been deepened by carving seating alcoves into the mass or by projecting balconies to beyond the envelope as parts of a promenade

architecture. “Our aim was to reduce monofunctional lost space in favour of creating overlapping and multifunctional spaces,” says Comrie. “We wanted to recognise the need for an inclusive environment in which the quality of ‘everyday life between classes’ is as important as the formal business of attending class.” PROFESSIONAL TEAM ARCHITECTS: URBA Architects & Urban Designers (Henri Comrie, Etienne Britz) STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS: Aurecon MECHANICAL ENGINEERS: Royal Haskoning DHV ELECTRICAL ENGINEERS: Civilsense Consulting LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT: InSite Landscape Architects QUANTITY SURVEYOR: LimCo QS, Arbitration & Project Management CC

Tel: +27 (0)21 526 9400 Email:

Tel: +27 (0)53 832 6825 Email:

Elré van der Walt Cell: +27 (0)83 281 8373 Email:

URBAN DESIGNER: Ludwig Hansen CONTRACTOR: Qualicon Construction SUSTAINABILITY CONSULTANT: PJ Carew Consulting



The major refurbishment of the Sandton City food court in 2018 included a new green material ETFE rooflight to enhance natural daylight in the doublevolume space.



The evolution of a mall Sandton City’s recent upgrades and refurbishments showcase the reasons behind the iconic shopping centre’s success.


lthough Sandton City is one of the oldest shopping centres in South Africa, it is also one of the most iconic. Built in 1972 and designed by MDS Architecture, the building’s ability to continue to claim “firsts” after so many years is remarkable. Tia Kanakakis, a partner at MDS Architecture, says that the owners, Liberty Group Limited, Pareto Limited and Liberty Two Degrees Proprietary Limited, are to be commended for their commitment to staying ahead of trends. She says that they take a long-term strategic approach with their design partners. As a result, several refurbishments, extensions and innovations have been designed over the years by the same architects that originally designed the shopping centre. EXPERIENTIAL SHOPPING IN RECONFIGURED LOWER LEVEL, FOOD COURT AND CHECKERS COURT

As the retail environment changes and national tenants reduce the size of their stores, new approaches are required to support sustained occupancy for shopping centre owners. The reduction in size of Sandton City’s Checkers Hyper on its lower level created residual retail space. To counter this, the court was expanded to ensure a larger promotional and activation space and four new tenants, including a baby care lounge. In addition, space was created at the delivery

level for a new waste management area, which processes all wet waste generated by Sandton City through a composter. “The new tenants adjacent to the court represent flagship stores with innovative concepts. Among these are Sportscene, My Cotton Tree and Wimpy, which unveils its new look concept,” says Kanakakis. A storage facility, Storage Genie, was included at the lower level, responding to a demand for storage in Sandton’s CBD. The new Checkers Hyper concept store, which opened in October 2019, promises to change the way people shop in a supermarket. It incorporates seven new experiences, such as a chocolatier, handmade pizzas baked in an in-store pizza oven, a sushi bar, temperature-controlled wine tasting room, and in-store access to well-known brands like Kauai and SCHOON. FAMILY FUN

The cinema level was completely reimagined and refurbished, and was completed in March 2018 as an inviting space for families. A kid’s zone was introduced, complete with slides into the Hamley’s toy store, jungle gyms and a foyer where children can play. Using the iPad as its inspiration, pop art design visuals were incorporated against a fresh white background. Continued next page

Top: The new Checkers Hyper concept store re-envisions the way people shop, incorporating in-store access to other brands and experiences. Middle: The food district now incorporates three types of seating with tables and chairs, bar counters and banquet seating. Bottom: Pop art design visuals were incorporated against a fresh white background on the cinema level.





Sandton City’s 17-year-old food court also underwent a major refurbishment in 2018 and was subsequently renamed the Food District. Says Kanakakis, “The refurbishment comprised changes over three levels. Our design intent was to create a bespoke food district with its own unique identity in the centre by using an artisanal monochromatic colour scheme, introducing unique features and services for the user.” The food district incorporates three types of seating with tables and chairs, bar counter and banquet seating in new configurations, increasing the existing 270 seats to 450. The existing rooflight was replaced with a new green material ETFE rooflight to enhance natural daylight in the double-volume space. All existing floor finishes, wall finishes, demising piers, ceilings in the public mall seating area, ablution blocks, baby care rooms and parent/child facilities were refurbished. A special device-charging station provides free power and data points in the seating area for shoppers, charged from a newly built renewable power source (PV solar panels were installed on the

roof). Kanakakis says that the project did not include any changes to existing trading tenants other than the signage changes, but this was a dramatic departure for brands who needed to use their own designs displayed in illuminated white against a dark charcoal background. Lollipop signs, erected perpendicular to the tenant’s premises, provide further interest. The design was enhanced with timber elements, hanging silk plants and potted natural plants. All work was completed at night over eight months while the food district remained fully operational. Many of the existing tenants refurbished their stores to align with the new design, even though it was not a requirement. Existing materials and elements in the food district were carefully removed and donated to nominated social upliftment projects. Waste recycling was introduced in the public seating areas, as well as for the distribution of food tenants’ own waste. WHAT’S NEXT?

Kanakakis says that Sandton City shoppers can expect more innovative experiences into the future as it’s forward-thinking


owners tap into their trusted professionals to stay ahead of international retail trends. “Sandton City constantly evolves to ensure that the shopping centre maintains its reputation as a pioneering and inventive asset,” she concludes.

Top: The design of the new Food District was enhanced with timber elements, hanging silk plants and potted natural plants. Above: The artisanal monochromatic colour scheme gives the food district its own unique identity.



FRANKE WC PANS AND URINALS The use of stainless steel as the material of first choice for products in public and semi-public washrooms has become today’s standard for good reasons. This material is robust, easy to maintain and very durable, which makes the products economical over the lifetime of the building. Sanitary fixtures that inhibit vandalism and are easy to clean help building operators to keep service and maintenance costs to a minimum. Practical experience shows that using high-quality materials reduces staining, which helps to maintain the good appearance of products in heavily used washrooms. Wash stations and accessories should have a hygienic atmosphere. Thanks to its durable and hygienic characteristics, stainless steel provides clean and safe products for public washrooms. WC pans consume up to 90 percent of water usage in commercial buildings. Franke South Africa have invested in technology that has given them the opportunity to introduce a range of WC pans and urinals that deliver high performance with a low water consumption, a full flush of four or six litres, not to

mention aesthetically pleasing designs to suit a wide variety of applications. Franke WC Pans are compatible with any dual flush concealed cistern. This is achieved by using robotic laser and welding technology, ensuring consistent quality and performance of WC pans. Franke also makes use of pressings where possible to avoid welding and grinding and ensure constancy in finishes. Franke can provide the highest quality, intricate and detailed products. Raised above the floor, the new range of wall-hung pans facilitates easier cleaning around the pan, resulting in improved hygiene. These, used in conjunction with stainless steel handwash basins and accessories, make for the ideal bathroom solution.




GROHE COOPERATES WITH THE PACIFIC GARBAGE SCREENING PROJECT Grohe has announced its support of the Pacific Garbage Screening (PGS) project of Marcella Hansch. Together with an interdisciplinary team of natural scientists, engineers and marine biologists, the trained architect is working on the development of a water platform that will collect plastic waste before it damages the ecosystems in oceans and rivers. The vision of clean water through the reduction of plastic waste is also a central concern for Grohe. For one of the leading suppliers for full The design of the floating platform makes bathroom solutions and kitchen fittings, it possible to extract plastic particles from the water before it damages the delicate sustainability and avoiding plastic are a matter of ecosystems of oceans and rivers. course. With the Grohe Blue water filter system, for example, disposable plastic bottles are a thing of the past. By using Grohe Blue, a family of four The co-operation with Grohe is also significant for Marcella avoids an average of 760 plastic bottles per year – a benefit not Hansch: “Partnerships are incredibly important for us, because only for consumers but also for the environment. we can only tackle a global problem together. We are excited In addition to self-initiated projects, Grohe also wants to about the commitment of Grohe to avoid using plastic and contribute to the field of sustainability through co-operations, reduce plastic as much as possible with regard to their products such as the alliance with PGS. Grohe thus does not only support but also in their production chain. That is why we are very much the project financially, but representatives of Grohe and PGS in looking forward to working with them.” fact also want to join forces to draw the public’s attention to the During a dive, Marcella Hansch encountered plastic waste worldwide plastic problem and to forward-thinking solutions. instead of fish. She immediately realised that there was an “We are very much looking forward to working with Marcella urgent need for action. That is why she did an in-depth study of a Hansch and PGS. The enormous amount of plastic waste in rivers technical solution for the reduction of plastic waste in the and oceans are a collective problem and represent one of the oceans in her thesis. Since then, the idea has continuously greatest challenges of our time. This is why we directly decided evolved: to prevent the pollution of the oceans, PGS to promote such an important project for the reduction of plastic concentrates on the moment where plastic waste enters the waste,” explains Thomas Fuhr, CEO of Grohe AG, confirming the oceans. Specifically, the focus is on a floating platform. Its design commitment: “We are particularly impressed with how makes it possible to extract plastic particles from the water. passionately Marcella Hansch and her team dedicate themselves Since it is assumed that around 80% of plastic waste in the to their mission. They not only want to create a solution that oceans is generated on land and rivers are regarded as major extracts plastic from the ocean, but also encourage people to pathways, the platforms are to be used in rivers and estuaries. change their minds.”

Marcella Hansch – initiator of the project Pacific Garbage Screening (PGS).

GROHE strengthens its commitment to sustainability and supports architect Marcella Hansch and her project Pacific Garbage Screening (PGS) with immediate effect.


GROHE SANITARY SYSTEMS WORK SMARTER INSTALLATION HAS NEVER BEEN THIS EASY... The pneumatic hose connects via EasyConnect system ensuring ToolFree and rapid installation of the flush plate. GROHE EcoJoy technology guarantees economical and resource-conserving water consumption. The 3l and 6l dual flush technology ensures you only use the amount of water needed. Offering a unique and diverse range of attractive actuation plates, fitting all our cisterns - available in manual and touchless electronic options. Contact us on 0861 21 21 21 |



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DIGITISE YOUR ACCESS CONTROL One thing that all South Africans understand is the importance of controlling who has access to their homes or small businesses. The security market is booming with people embracing more innovative ways of managing their access control. However, it can quickly become a difficult and tedious task to do properly, especially if the small business starts expanding – time and resources that can better be spent on delivering more strategic value and growing the business. Enter dormakaba evolo smart, a more effective way of addressing this critical need for your home or small business. Say goodbye to lost keys and hello to the easy programming of access rights via a smart app. With evolo, you can open your doors using anything from an access card, key fob, or even a smartphone. What makes evolo smart such a compelling offering is that you do not need any extra hardware to programme your door components or change and cancel access rights. Everything can be managed

from a user-friendly interface on your smartphone. The matching dormakaba evolo door components are standalone-operated. This means they are powered by a battery with no cables involved. For example, the dormakaba digital cylinder is inserted into the door instead of a mechanical lock cylinder that allows for easy dismantling later. If you do use conventional locking cylinders, you can switch to evolo smart without any major installation having to be done. In this way, dormakaba ensures that you protect your existing investment. If needed, evolo access components can be integrated into other access solutions from dormakaba. This means your investment is guaranteed in the long term and can grow as your needs evolve. From a business perspective, evolo smart supports up to 50 users. This lets you easily manage all aspects of access control for your company. Whether it is new employees, service providers, or even night-shift security personnel, you can decide who has access


to your business and when. If an employee leaves or you change service providers, access rights can be deleted with the swipe of a finger, giving you the flexibility required to always ensure the protection of the physical access into your company. And because evolo smart runs offline, you do not even need to have a permanent internet connection. For those interested in implementing evolo smart at home, its simplicity can give you the peace of mind needed that your loved ones will be protected. Access permissions can be time-limited and revoked whenever needed. This makes it perfect for the nanny, cleaner, even neighbours who are looking after things when you go on holiday. Plus, you do not have to worry about your children losing your house keys as you

can give them a key fob to enter and leave. The evolo smart app on your phone also shows you who went in and out of your home at which times, providing further comfort levels that all is as it should be. By digitalising the access control for your small business or home, you significantly improve security with a cost-effective investment. The dormakaba system also provides you with a foundation to expand into even more sophisticated access control solutions as your business needs change over time. The electronic locks become part of a bigger solution seamlessly.

Trust the world leader with your access control solution

MATRIX ONE HEAD OFFICE 2 Gravel Drive Kya Sands Business Park Kya Sands 2169 011 510 1500 086 694 2794

SERVICE HOTLINE 086 113 6762

Small and medium sized enterprises need an access solution that is fast and simple to setup. As an out-of-the-box solution MATRIX ONE can be rolled out in no time and easily operated via the browser.



E-GATE ENGINEERING E-Gate Engineering is a gate and door manufacturing company. All their products are branded with the “eG8” logo. E-Gate Engineering can manufacture anything from small simple designs to big industrial gates, special-requirement doors and automated roof structures. “If it can be drawn, it can be made,” is their motto. E-Gate Engineering makes their gates as light as possible, but more rigid than the average gate, therefore improving the wear on hinges, wheels and extending the lifespan of the automatic operator. Most of their sliding gates

are supplied with the industrial flat-bar track, which, although a bit more expensive than your average angle iron track, offers durability and a smooth operation. Angle tracks are also available for lighter gates, and are a cost-effective alternative. The design of their 80/100/120/ 150mm U-Groove wheels makes E-Gate Engineering’s Sliding Gates the smoothest and easiest to operate in the industry. Gates can also be made with special lugs to accommodate a bolt-on rack that is adjustable, eliminating the need for welding that destroys the

corrosion protection. Swing Gates are supplied with adjustable heavy-duty bolt-on hinges that make fitment and future adjustment a breeze. Gates can be supplied with precision steel housings to accommodate manual or strike locks to suit various needs. E-Gate Engineering also has a range of special doors, including high-security, meter-room and vented doors. Where hinges need to be on the outside, their patented Adjustable Tamper-proof Hinges can be used. All E-Gate Engineering’s gates are supplied with a

minimum corrosion protection of (Zinc-coated) hot-dip galvanizing, and all products can also be powder-coated or painted to specification on request. E-Gate Engineering’s products are designed to be bolt-on and adjustable, making them professional in appearance, easy to fit and maintain, preventing damage to the finish and corrosion protection. E-Gate Engineering supplies clients with detailed CAD drawings before manufacturing, ensuring high standards and precise fitting.

WHY CHOOSE ASSA ABLOY’S CAM-MOTION DOOR CLOSERS? ASSA ABLOY door closers are suitable for a wide range of applications, from residential to commercial and public sectors and for light and heavy doors. ASSA ABLOY offers a full range of Cam-Motion® door closers, which open and close smoothly, easily and securely. ASSA ABLOY Cam-Motion door closers ensure the door feels light while retaining its closing power. This makes Cam-Motion door closers ideal for use in schools, hospitals and houses where the young, elderly and disabled people may struggle with the forces associated with a conventional door closer. Cam-Motion door closers are also suitable for buildings with high traffic. ASSA ABLOY Cam-Motion door closers have these additional advantages: FLEXIBLE INSTALLATION They can be specified and

installed in four fixing applications – on the door or frame-mounted and in both push and pull applications. They can also be mounted on the hinge or non-hinge side of the door, making them suitable for any door application. The fixing application can quickly be changed at short notice, facilitating flexible planning. SAFETY IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY Smoke and fire doors may only be equipped with door closer systems that are fire-rated and certified in compliance with EN1154. ASSA ABLOY’s Cam-Motion door closers are approved for single and double-leaf fire and smoke protection doors with different usage requirements. ASSA ABLOY’s door closers are fire-rated for up to 240 minutes, ensuring a functional fire door in case of an emergency.


SAFETY AND COMFORT GUARANTEED Cam-Motion door closers are suitable for use on internal and external doors with the DC700 door closer being particularly suited for doors exposed to heavy use, high wind pressure or windy conditions. By slowing the door down, it helps prevent trapped fingers too. ENHANCE BUILDING AESTHETICS To achieve consistent aesthetic appeal, especially in large buildings, ASSA ABLOY door closers offer an attractive design with varying performance features.

AWARD-WINNING DOOR CLOSER RANGE ASSA ABLOY’s range of redesigned door closers was recognised at the 2018 Iconic Awards: Innovative Architecture. With the innovative Cam-Motion technology inside, the range stands out as door controls that provide door-opening experience with quiet, safe and secure door closing, as well as consistent product improvement. The elegant appearance of these door closers also adds to the overall design possibilities available to the architect.

Quality Products 031-702 2202 031-564 2202 We will manufacture Gates, Doors, Panels etc. to clients specifications. CAD drawings will be submitted for approval before fabrication is started. We can also assist with design/development on specialized products. Detailed fitting instruction can be supplied for self-fitment . STANDARD
















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SPOTLESS SPACES WITH MAXIFLEX’S RR300 CLEAN ROOM DOOR Maxiflex offers a wide range of high-performance entrance systems for cleanroom environments in the pharmaceutical, medical, research, electronics and even aerospace markets. All content within these contained facilities must adhere to strict hygiene and safety regulations, and doors play a pivotal role in the prevention of air-borne contaminants. When Maxiflex was contacted by one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers in the southern hemisphere to provide an appropriate entrance system for their clean-room facility in the Eastern Cape, Maxiflex understood that the door solution had to deliver optimal

performance and meet all the stipulated hygiene and safety conditions. “The RR300 Clean Room Door, with its industry-leading opening and closing speeds of up to 1,2 m/s and 0,5 m/s respectively, combined with excellent sealing capabilities, ticked all the boxes, making it the ideal solution for this highcontainment facility,” states Guy Cooke, General Manager of Maxiflex Eastern Cape’s Port Elizabeth branch. The RR300 Clean is equipped with an MCC frequency converter control system that supports a wide range of speeds, keeping particle emissions and air exchange to a minimum, lowering filter burden and


reducing energy consumption through efficient interior climate control. The smart cable guide sealing provides enhanced airtightness and keeps the pressure drop to a minimum. The door consists of PVC-Curtain certified by the Fraunhofer Institute and is the first door to be tested and confirmed by the Fraunhofer Institute for cleanroom suitability. Designed in accordance to GMP Class C, this high-performance door is manufactured from superior quality materials (a stainless steel V2A door) and includes only the best components. The cables are located in side columns to provide a smooth surface, which

facilitates easy cleaning and prevents the accumulation of particle deposits and surface irregularities that may increase particle turbulence. The door is also equipped with a UPS battery. The RR300 Clean is created according to the Workplace Directive of the UVV regulations and the harmonised CE Guidelines, including the EN 13241-1, and contains a door line photocell that prevents closure when an object is in the doorway, and features an electrical safety contact edge. The door’s narrow side columns facilitate installation in confined areas while easily accessible parts ensure hasslefree maintenance and service.

Elegant new matte black door hardware

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ARE YOU READY FOR QUALITY AND CONVENIENCE? Swartland’s innovative Ready-2-Fit range of wooden windows and doors come pre-glazed and pre-sealed directly from the factory – saving you time and money. Top-quality timber architectural accents, such as beautifully crafted wooden windows and doors, can add an organically attractive and timeless aesthetic to any building they grace. Over and above the beauty of these features, wood is also a wonderfully environmentally friendly choice of building material – it is renewable, an excellent insulator, and, if properly maintained, it is exceptionally durable and long lasting.

PROBLEMS OF THE PAST In the past, wooden windows and doors did not receive the necessary care and treatment they require. Installation methods were often not able to guarantee perfect results, due to inconsistent levels of workmanship. Also, any raw timber products left outdoors on site were at the mercy of the elements until they were installed, glazed and sealed. Any exposure to rain or damp conditions could lead to serious long-term damage of

BENEFITS OF SWARTLAND’S READY-2-FIT RANGE AT A GLANCE: • No more sanding – easy wash-and-wipe maintenance • Excellent durability ensured with high-end water-based sealant • Improves build quality at no extra cost • Validates the Swartland guarantee • It is an eco-friendly and energy-efficient solution • Constant testing ensures compliance with the National Building Regulation and Consumer Protection Act • Offers good thermal and sound insulation, depending on the glass chosen.


the timber. Installation was also very time-consuming. Best practice requires that you paint or seal your doors and windows prior to installation. Very seldom is this done on site. Windows and

range, however, all the aforementioned problems are a thing of the past. Cobus Lourens, Business Development Manager for Swartland, explains, “The Ready-2-Fit range of wooden

doors are usually installed, then glazed and lastly the sealant or paint is applied. This means that your timber is exposed where it is built into the wet works, causing it to take up moisture and swell. Another problem is that timber is exposed behind the glass and glazing beads. If glazed using traditional putty, the timber will draw out the oil from the putty, making it brittle. This allows water to seep into the opening. Trapped water causes the rot and decay of your timber. Lastly, to properly maintain timber windows and doors, you needed to sand them down and reseal them on a regular basis, which is an arduous and laborious job.

windows and doors are professionally sealed and glazed before they leave the Swartland factory, so that when they arrive on the building site, they are ready to be installed. A newly added service included in the Ready-2-Fit range is that doors can be pre-hung in their frames, fitted with hinges, flush bolts and locks. “This not only saves the builder and homeowner time and money on installation costs, but it also ensures that the windows and doors are adequately protected against exposure to the elements. It also vastly increases the overall build quality – ensuring that the windows and doors are finished to Swartland’s exacting standards and, therefore, ensuring any warrantees are upheld,” he explains.


Gauteng 012 653 8204 / Cape 021 983 1140 / KZN 031 569 1800



An aesthetically pleasing warehouse project based in Olifantsfontein, Gauteng, utilising 0.58mm ISQ300 Chromadek, featuring 7000m2 Craft-Lock® concealed fixed roof sheeting and 4600m2 IBR cladding manufactured by Clotan Steel.

You just finished designing your client’s dream project with an aesthetically beautiful metal roof in mind. The client brief on the roof design was quite simple: they want a flexible roof design with natural curves. Your initial thought was that a metal roof is the product of choice. As steel is readily formable, metal roofing offers the designer a variety of colours, material finishes (gloss, matt and textured), as well as the freedom of design and creativity that make it suitable for a wide variety of roof design features. Modern designs and technologically advanced roofing options have seen an increased trend towards metal roofing, and it has gained popularity among architects, developers and homeowners. Metal roofing is economic, durable and it enhances the aesthetics of a project. Considering all the positive features associated with metal roofs, you are convinced that your client’s project will be the envy of the neighbourhood. However, knowing these tips and tricks associated with metal roofs are key in executing a project with success. WHY IS A SPECIFICATION ON THE ROOF IMPORTANT? A specification for a metal roof is the secret to the success

of your project as the profile type, material thickness, coating types, yield strengths and paint finishes can often be a confusing combination to get right when it comes to specifying the type of roof to be used on a project. It is therefore critically important to specify each aspect correctly. Ambiguity in specification leads to either honest mistakes, or to wilful manipulation by contractors or subcontractors on projects, where lower quality products end up on projects than were intended by architects or developers. Taking the time to write a clear specification and omitting wording such as “similar or approved” will result in clients and professionals having roofs on their projects that they chose initially. HOW TO SPECIFY A METAL ROOF FOR YOUR PROJECT There are five features to consider when specifying metal roofs for your project: • Material thickness: this is the thickness of the material used to manufacture the roof sheets (0.5mm, 0.53mm, 0.55mm, 0.58mm, 0.8mm) • Material type: This refers to the type of material. There are two main categories – painted (Chromadek®, Colorbond®, ColorPlus®)


and unpainted (ZincAl®, Galvanised, Zincalume®, Copper, Aluminium, etc) • Coating thickness: This refers to the protective coating thickness of the steel substrate, like Z200, Z275, AZ100, AZ150, AZ200 etc, where a Z200 grade will consist of 200 grams of zinc per square meter or AZ150 will be 150 grams of aluminium zinc per square meter. • Yield strength: This refers to the material grade (ISQ300, G300, etc) • Profile: Type of profile – pierced fixed (Widespan, Corrugated, C-tile & IBR) or concealed fixed (Craft-Lock® and Reehfalz). If a concealed roof is an option of choice, a typical example of a Craft-Lock® Concealed fix roof sheeting specification for a project would be the following: Craft-Lock® Concealed fix roof sheeting manufactured by Clotan Steel with a male/ female sideways interlocking mechanism, forming a double capillary action break manufactured from (1) 0.58mm thick (2) ISQ300 steel with (3) Chromadek® finish, colour (TBD, for example Fish Eagle White) with a (4) Z275 (5) Galvanized coating. (1) Refers to your thickness

of choice (2) Refers to the correct material grade (3) Refers to the desired finish (4) Refers to the desired protective coating mass (5) Refers to the desired protective coating. TIPS AND TRICKS FROM THE ROOFING EXPERTS By ensuring best practice on a metal roof, it is recommended that there is no construction or maintenance traffic on roofs. “Hard roofs” are recommended with internal access and if traffic is unavoidable, install temporary walkways with marine ply, or design permanent walkways with compatible clips and steel walkways onto the roofs. Always choose the correct profile type, taking the roof design into consideration and ensure penetrations through roofs are dealt with in accordance to best practice on manufacturers’ specifications. Consider that the correct grade and type of fixings are used. Don’t push construction programmes to such an extent that roofs are used as construction platforms, as this will inevitably lead to the complete destruction and replacement of roofs, defeating the purpose of the cost savings of a faster programme.




INTRODUCING A GLOBAL FORCE IN WATERPROOFING TO SOUTH AFRICA BMI Coverland and BMI Icopal form part of the BMI Group, the largest manufacturer of flat and pitched roofing and waterproofing solutions throughout Europe and Asia. As of February 2019, the innovative waterproofing product range became available to the South African waterproofing community, and at very competitive pricing. BMI Icopal brings innovations like NOx-Active bitumen waterproofing membrane that absorbs nitrogen oxide (NOx) and thereby depollutes the air we breathe. In addition our 'Metal - Faced' bitumen membrane range extends the longevity of the bitumen membrane through the application of an embossed thermo-stable attached metal foil. The initial BMI Icopal product offering includes Paraplast - a high performance

range of Atatic Polypropylene (APP) modified bitumen torch- on membranes. The bitumen grade used to produce the Paraplast waterproofing range has good U.V resistance, elasticity, flexibility and heat resistance making the range the contractor’s choice. The Paraplast torch-on range comprises of a 3mm APP torch-on membrane and a 4mm APP torch-on waterproofing membrane and a 4mm APP granular slate (grey) torch-on membrane. The Paraplast range of APP bitumen membranes is complimented with a bitumen surface primer to enhance bonding onto substrates and high quality silver topcoat that has a solar reflectance index (SRI) of 80. The Paraplast waterproofing range are introduced at very competitive pricing and stock is available immediately.

THE REST OF THE MULTI-PRODUCT PORTFOLIO WILL BE ROLLED OUT OVER THE NEXT YEAR AND INCLUDE BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO: • The BMI EverGuard range of TPO fleeced and non-fleeced membranes with excellent weld ability and chemical resistance for faster and easier installations on most types of large roof tops. • Single-ply and solvent free liquid applied waterproofing which is based on polyurethane resin technology, BMI Sealoflex liquid forms a seamless permanently elastic, vapour permeable membrane -resistant and that is tear durable solution for new and existing commercial areas. • The innovative Blue Roof Waterproof systems for temporary retention of rain water on roof tops. The technology allows for retention of the rain water during rain fall that can stored and used periodically thereafter. Particularly useful in areas of rain scarcity environments.

Applications for BMI Icopal waterproofing membranes include but are not limited to exposed flat concrete roofs, roof gardens systems, foundation walls, balconies, tunnels, landfills, dams & pond linings, box gutters, metal roofs, parking decks under asphalt, terraces, lift pits, paved parking areas, patios,

BMI Coverland (Pty) Ltd Constantia View Office Estate, Block 6, 2 Hogsback Road, Quellerina, Johannesburg

insulated roofs, retaining walls, sewage plants, parapet walls, planter boxes. *Correct maintenance intervals required to offer extended longevity BMI Icopal offers a standard 10 year waterproofing warranty on all its product solutions ensuring that they are manufactured 'Fit for Purpose'. BMI – Because it is never just a roof.

Contact: Lance Anderson Flat Roof Specialist T +27 11 222 7300/ 7414 | M +27 72 486 6210 E



THE ENVIRONMENTAL ADVANTAGES OF THERMGUARD INSULATION Electricity hikes, water shortages, climate change and polluted oceans are the topics of many conversations that South Africans are having more often now than ever before, with the conclusion repeatedly being the need to live more environmentally responsible lives. Many specifiers are, however, unaware of the significant impact their choice of insulation can make – not only on the thermal and acoustic comfort of the homeowner, but also on the environment. Here are a few of the environmental advantages of Thermguard insulation. RECYCLED CONTENT Thermguard insulation is manufactured from 80-85% post-consumer recycled newspaper (one of the largest parts of our waste stream), which would otherwise be dumped in landfills, using up valuable space and creating greenhouse gases while decomposing. Newspaper itself is made from local plantations of sustainably grown, carbon-absorbing trees.

ADDITIVES The non-recycled fire-retardant additives in cellulose fibre insulation are environmentally preferable as they are non-toxic and natural. These natural salts and minerals are used in agriculture to promote plant health, to stop and prevent wet and dry rot in timber, and they also have various uses in the household and medical fields. Borate additives in Thermguard are harmless to


humans and pets; however, will irritate insects and rodents such that they will not live in the material or use it to build a nest. The result is that Thermguard is a passive, yet effective, pest control measure. EMBODIED ENERGY AND WATER USAGE The embodied energy of cellulose insulation is by far the lowest compared to all other insulation materials

commercially available. Furnace-made insulation materials (fibreglass and polyester) require around 10 to 14 times more energy to produce compared to cellulose fibre. In addition to using the least amount of energy to produce, Thermguard does not use any water during manufacture. Cellulose fibre is also 100% biodegradable and will not negatively affect ecosystems or wildlife.




only from GRS

Klip-Tite concealed fix roof sheeting was developed through continuous in-house testing of existing products, where it was realised that failure is normally caused by the sheet unclipping from the fixing clip, during high wind uplift pressure. Thus Klip-Tite was developed: • With transverse stiffeners in the trough to strengthen the sheet and achieve a balanced system design and even higher wind uplift resistance. • The deflection of the pan is reduced, thus increasing the wind uplift resistance of the sheet. • Transverse stiffeners which are a first in the South African sheeting market. • Klip-Tite offers improved wind uplift resistance results compared to other traditional clipping systems and are more difficult to remove • The ultimate wind uplift resistance of Klip-Tite exceeded expectations



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DEMAND FOR ULTRA-SPAN CONTINUES TO GROW IN AFRICA WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ULTRA-SPAN? Ultra-Span is a light gauge steel roof truss system that is both lightweight and compact for easy handling and economical transportation. The low mass per m2 of this roofing system ensures both savings on the supporting structure as well as on transportation and erection costs, while also being vermin-proof and non-combustible. Engineered designs are calculated using MiTek’s state-of-the-art 20/20 software and provides economical roofing solutions. Light gauge steel offers a wide range of benefits when compared with conventional construction using other framing materials. There are advantages in terms of quality, cost, durability and speed of construction. Reduced wastage, lower logistical costs and earlier occupation offer cost savings, compared with conventional building methods. “Large sections, or an entire roof, can simply be pre-assembled on the ground and hoisted into position onto a building’s walls – making this one of the most viable systems, with a large range of applications up to a clear span of 40m. Supported through a substantial network of licensed truss suppliers, UltraSpan is equally ideal for all local and export applications where it can be pre-assembled or site assembled,” says Hennie Viljoen, Marketing Manager of MiTek. “Our business objective for Ultra-Span is to rapidly expand the specification, usage and sales of our current and emerging Ultra-Span solution in all of our key markets around the African

continent. The common market segments that present the greatest opportunities for this expansion are low-cost housing projects, light industrial and large span structures. We have been experiencing a lot of new interest in Ultra-Span throughout the African continent over the past few years, and we continue to grow our presence in various markets,” says Viljoen. The company is a diversified global supplier of builder products, collaborative software, engineering services and manufacturing equipment. FROM LOW-COST HOUSING TO LARGE SPAN STRUCTURES When it comes to large span structures, MiTek has proven many times over that its Ultra-Span light gauge steel roofing system is very much the product of choice and has been widely utilised successfully on various commercial projects. MiTek was also the SAISC Steel Awards 2019 Light Steel Frame Building Category Sponsor and had three entries into the annual SAISC Steel


Awards that took place on 10 October 2019 in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban concurrently. These entries were in contention for the highly coveted Light Steel Frame Building category, which MiTek licensed fabricators have won with Ultra-Span projects in 2010, 2015 and 2017. LIGHT GAUGE STEEL VS TIMBER TRUSSES It is, however, often believed that light gauge steel structures cannot really compete with timber nailplated roof trusses on the low-cost market, but quite the opposite is often true – light gauge steel structures at the lower roof pitch of 17.5 degrees for tiles is usually more cost-effective due to the greater strength of steel versus timber, and also all the sundry materials being supplied in exact lengths, thereby leaving no wastage. The roof trusses can also be supplied in kit form with all components in exact required lengths requiring only onsite assembly, or they can be supplied in pre-assembled form. A further site advantage, especially on large low-cost

housing sites, is the inherent resistance of light gauge steel to warping in poor weather conditions, as well as the materials being noncombustible and as such not being used for other purposes. WHY MITEK? MiTek is a diversified global supplier of builder products, collaborative software, engineering services and manufacturing equipment to the residential, commercial and industrial construction sectors. Founded in 1955 and a Berkshire Hathaway company since 2001, MiTek has operations in more than 40 countries on six continents. When asked what sets the company apart, many of the MiTek staff claim that it’s the relationships they have with their customers. “We live out a genuine, core passion for serving our customers; and we build trust as a partner on your journey, through our uncompromising commitment to helping you succeed – immediately, and in the long run,” comments Viljoen.



KNAUF INSULATION DEMYSTIFIES EPCs, ENERGY PERFORMANCE AND INSULATION To tackle South Africa’s energy crisis, the introduction of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) containing information about the energy consumption of buildings are expected. These certificates will initially focus on commercial buildings but it’s

It makes sense to futureproof properties, but how do you improve a building’s EPC rating? Suria Ramnarain, Sales Development Manager at Knauf Insulation, explains that adding insulation during construction is one

likely they’ll be rolled out to domestic properties as they have in other parts of the world. Prospective purchasers and tenants will therefore become more sensitive to the energy consumption – and running costs – of buildings.

of the quickest, easiest and most cost-effective ways to improve EPC ratings. She says, “Most of the energy taken to cool or heat a building is lost through its walls and roof. Highperformance insulation

prevents energy loss by keeping a building cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s cold. It’s so effective that, in the UK, insulation covers one third of the EPC score.” The introduction of EPCs follows the SANS-10400 XA update, which requires external building elements to meet a specific R-value (how well materials resist heat flow). Including a cavity (an air gap) between the inner and outer skin of an external wall reduces energy consumption by 30%. Adding insulation to that cavity reduces it up to 70%. Knauf Insulation offers a range of high-performance non-combustible Mineral Wool insulation solutions for cavity walls and roofs. Masonry Cavity Slabs (DriTherm) have a Euroclass A1 Reaction to Fire classification and offer peace of mind thanks to BBA (British Board of Agrément) certification. Ceiling Rolls are certified under SANS 10177

parts 5 and 10 A/A1 for fire, and also have a Euroclass A1 Reaction to Fire classification. Knauf Insulation can offer products for retrofitting to improve energy performance. A well-insulated building with a good EPC rating will be more marketable because it protects against rising energy costs – and that makes good business sense.

Suria Ramnarain, Sales Development Manager at Knauf Insulation




RAISING THE ROOF ON GLAMPING Glamping is a rapidly growing global trend, with luxury tented camps attracting more and more tourists across the

Bushtec Safari roof designs are custom-crafted to include four layers of roofing on most structures, which consist of

insulated canvas for areas known to experience extreme hot or cold weather, to provide a cool safe haven for the

Louw Bekker, CEO of the Canvas and Tent Group, explains, “For ideal glamping roofing, its vital to achieve an

world each year. Not only are glamping tents larger than ever before, they also need to be weather robust, multi-purpose, durable and, in some lodges and resorts, fully eco-friendly. For the mainstream, architecture is not often a concept associated with glamping. However, a new mindset is emerging in hospitality architecture where the concept of architecture and glamping are moving into closer quarters. With today’s glamping designs and structures, you’ll notice an increasing sophistication and compelling architectural structure coming into play, providing the utmost comfort, while simultaneously offering robust shelter in even the harshest locations. Luxury tent design and manufacture comes with its own unique set of challenges, tasking the designers at Bushtec Safari (a Canvas and Tent brand) to combine and

an aesthetical inner drape material ceiling, a canvas roof concluding the canvas body, followed by a PVC flysheet forming the main roofing structure. Finally, a shade-net flysheet covers all of the above to ensure additional protection against sun exposure. This additional space between the roof elements provides an effective ventilation process to assist in regulating the temperature internally. Bushtec Safari focuses on designing varied pitches in adjacent tent roofs to maximise winter sun saturation, while protecting other areas in all seasons. They also offer optional

hotter months, while creating a cosy enclosure in winter. As the demand for luxury tented developments steadily grows globally, an increasing number of investors, property and land owners are exploring developing luxury tented lodges and resorts, in turn increasing the need for the influence of architectural design in large-scale tented structures. Bushtec Creations offers full turnkey solutions and assists clients in creating these custom luxury tented lodges, with unique design and manufacture requiring specialist skills, experience and acute attention to detail.

even distribution of weight and forces inherent in the tented structure. As specialists in the design and manufacturing of luxury tented lodges and resorts, the Bushtec Brand combines architecture and glamping, providing clients with a creative solution to give visitors a chance to relax and have a closer experience with nature. “In addition, we are offering unique architecture that can be modular or extendable. The key is to provide resistance from the elements while creating a bespoke, beautiful architecture where design meets functionality.”

harmonise the various dynamics of weather, location, terrain and functionality to find the perfect architectural balance between comfort and camping.


Bushtec Creations specializes in conceptualising, designing, building and maintaining world-class full turnkey tented camps, lodges and resorts for the luxury travel market. Our integrated turnkey solutions have ensured that we’ve created dream destinations, from start to finish, on every kind of terrain – land, desert, mountains or water – across Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, USA and Australia. Bushtec Creations is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of unique and innovative design on a global scale in conjunction with investors, lodge owners and architects. For us, no destination is too remote, no idea too bold, no challenge too big.

CREATING ONE-OF-A-KIND RESORTS WORLDWIDE Contact us on +27 (0)12 671 1117 | | A CANVAS AND TENT company



CHILD SAFETY AROUND PRIVATE SWIMMING POOLS: THE COMPLIANCE ISSUES GOVERNING THE TRENDS When it comes to swimming pool trends, the critical compliance issue is pool safety, which is now guided by the SABS. In December 2018 the SABS 10134 Standard – Safety around Private Swimming Pools – was upgraded to reflect current safety approaches and was accepted via a public participation process into SABS, which effectively means that there are now recommended standards of safety for all privately owned swimming pools. These recommendations are important for architects to be aware of and to follow. However, SABS 10134 is not the law and needs to be read in conjunction with the National Building Regulations or SANS 10400D, which deals with the public access to pools and the absolute laws in terms of making pools safe to the public. “The South African legal system does hold the homeowner liable in terms of criminal law should it be proven that they have

negligently failed to prevent a child drowning in a pool that they own,” says Caryn Formby of PowerPlastics Pool Covers. SANS 10400D deals with public access to one’s pool. Here, the onus is on the building inspector to approve only homes that comply with walls and fences of a certain height to ensure that a child wandering in off the street cannot drown in the pool. Once on the property, a fence can be used again – but a fence or wall is not always the safest technique. This is where SABS 10134 comes in. The homeowner is now not working for public safety but safety for people on the property. Here, a fence, net or safety cover is recommended in terms of SABS 10134. On all pools, three layers of safety are recommended. The first is a wall or fence, the second is a net or safety cover, and the third is adult supervision. “Given these standards and building regulations, as designers and specifiers it is our responsibility to ensure


pools are safe at the time of building and also during their use thereafter. Pools also need to be safe once the home is sold and resold. It is for this reason that SABS 10134 is important as it introduces further techniques to make the pool safe. The particular layout of the property, the shape of the pool and the lifestyle of the client need to all be taken into account, together with the recommendations in SABS 10134,” says Formby. When specifying fences and walls, SAB S1390 is the important document. There are, however, pool covers and there are safety covers. Safety covers also need a SABS COC in order to ensure that they conform to the required standard. Likewise, the installation team needs to be accredited in order to install a safety cover. “To ascertain whether a cover is safe, always ask

the pool cover supplier for a certificate of conformance. If it is not forthcoming, the company has probably not applied their mind sufficiently to make sure that every installation is 100 percent safe. A cover that is deemed safe is one that prohibits any object measuring 114mm in diameter from accessing the water/slipping under the cover; the fastenings/securing points must not be workable by a small child; it must have a tensioning system and a weight tolerance of 220kg; and after rainfall or if garden sprinklers are used, the water must drain off unaided and the cover must dry within five minutes. “These new recommendations will really assist South Africa’s architectural and design fraternity to clarify their approach to safety around pools,” concludes Formby.




At the start of 2017, construction of a new Information and Communications Technology (ICT) school building began at Botha‘s Halte Primary, off the R43 near Botha Wine Cellar in Worcester, South Africa. Initiated and privately funded by Farmprops (Pty) Ltd, representing the Bosjes Family trust, the school forms part of the LitNum Hub for the Breede Valley area, providing tuition in Mathematics and Afrikaans to primary school learners up to grade seven. Great pains were taken to make the school as environmentally friendly as possible, which included specifying sustainable materials and products, such

as solar panels, water storage and wind turbines, wherever possible. When retaining walls and steps were specified for the outdoor recess area, Tiaan Meyer, Architect and Director of Meyer & Associates Architects and Urban Designers, suggested using the Terraforce 4x4 Step block for cost-effective and robust seating, and the Terraforce L11 block for plantable and permeable earth retaining walls on the school grounds. The Terraforce 4x4 Step blocks were designed specifically to provide efficient and economical steps in conjunction with the L range Terraforce retaining blocks and have, over the last two decades, become

popular for practical stair and seating arrangements at leisure amenities and school sports facilities. Says Meyer, “The blocks offer a good-looking and neat finish, and Decorton Retaining Systems – sub-contracted by JJ Dempers Group – specialising in Terraforce retaining walls, did a great job installing the blocks. The seating also fits in seamlessly with the rest of the architecture, which showcases modern, clean finishes, fresh colours and sustainable technology.” Meyer also adds that the project is one that has the potential to affect real change

for future generations in the Breede Valley: “This is a love project, to give back to and uplift the local community, while implementing the same technology and applications in a rural environment as are normally seen in an urban environment.” After completion of the project in September 2019, landscaping was undertaken by Square One Landscape Architects together with Afri Landscapes. All future learning activities taking place at Botha‘s Halte will be provided by Bosjes Trust, in partnership with the Western Cape Education Department (WCED).



OLD MUTUAL IHBAZA, sister company to Inhouse Design Studio, was tasked with refreshing Old Mutual Wealth’s new headquarters in Cape Town, an 11 000m2, five-floor space. The brief sought an interior upscale that repurposed and preserved as much of the existing services and infrastructure as possible. The result is a sleek and contemporary office space that boasts improved functionality and five floors each with their own aesthetic identity. The ground floor functions exclusively as a client-facing space and exudes a sense of high-end luxury and opulence. A monochromatic colour


palette is broken by pops of green, gold, copper blue and plum – Old Mutual Wealth’s new brand colours – while touches of living greenery add a softness to an otherwise chic formal space. The open-plan setting boasts a host of functional meeting spaces that cater for varying needs; formal breakaway rooms afford privacy for both large and small meetings, while loose-furniture lounges illuminated by statement pendant lights offer a more relaxed setting. Each floor has a unique identity expressed through accent colours and patterns




expressed through custom vinyls set on glass panels and wallpapers. Careful consideration was made to place varying employee groups in their most ideal setting and each floor hosts a variety of large boardrooms, smaller focus rooms and breakaway lounges to cater for them

accordingly. Smart technological systems that afford ultimate ease of use – such as power-integrated tables/panels, daylightharvesting time systems boasting lighting that dims as the day goes by, and motion sensors – complete this modernised office space.

In high-rainfall regions, buildings can experience condensation on the inside surface of the building shell during cold weather. This is commonly visible on glass doors and windows, but can also be found on walls. In addition to causing damage, dampness results in mould growth and other health issues. The winter rainfall regions of the Southern and Western Cape are particularly susceptible to condensation due to the differential between heated indoor air and cold outdoor temperatures. The solution is a cavity wall composed of two masonry walls separated by an air space or cavity. The cavity prevents condensation from penetrating through to the inner leaf. If walls are made of a high-density masonry material like clay brick, it provides extra protection from temperature extremes and noise – even without additional insulation in the cavity – and reduces energy use. “The new SANS 10400-XA thermal performance requirement for masonry walling is based on the location, the type of building and the hours of day the building is used,” explains Clay Brick Association Executive Director Mariana Lamont. “In South African Energy Zones 1, 2, 4, 6 and 7, it will be mandatory for concrete and clay brick external masonry walling to have some kind of thermal intervention. Cities in these zones include Cape Town, Johannesburg, Kimberley, Port Elizabeth, Potchefstroom, Sutherland, Welkom and Witbank.” WHERE DOES INDOOR CONDENSATION COME FROM? Think of an ice-cold beer. You take it out the fridge and within minutes water is dripping down the outside of the can. Condensation is a result of warm air outside the container meeting the cold can. Thicker glass delays condensation but won’t prevent it. Any solid, single-leaf wall – even thick concrete – will experience condensation. With a cavity wall, condensation gathers in the cavity behind the first wall and never reaches the second interior wall. The house remains warm and dry.



THERMOPLASTICS PROVIDE TANGIBLE BENEFITS FOR ARCHITECURE AND DESIGN Performance thermoplastics are one of the most resource-efficient and versatile materials used in the world today and, although not always visible, is indispensable in the architectural and building industries. Maizey Plastics offers a range of construction materials with unique properties specially focused on cost-effectiveness, design flexibility and overall long-term performance. One such product is their architectural grade Foam PVC Boards. With its lightweight,

closed cell surface structure, excellent dimensional stability and high durability, PVC Foam Boards are the perfect substitute for wood, wood composites, chipboard and MDF. Maizey PVC Foam Boards are UV-, moisture- and corrosion-resistant and will not be affected by rot, mildew or swelling. Easy to clean and maintain, upkeep is greatly reduced and the overall life expectancy of construction items improved. Available through their extensive distribution network, Maizey

Plastics’ offering includes common industry thicknesses, meaning standard cabinetry hardware and PVC edging is readily available from hardware suppliers. Further finishing can be achieved with paint, self-adhesive film wraps (e.g. Grafityp Auto/Deco Vinyls), direct UV printing or lamination, while the unique properties of PVC Foam Boards allows it to be shaped,

machined, glued or mechanically fixed. The sheets can even be used for ceiling or bulkhead applications, complete with standard illumination options fitted. The range of performance thermoplastics suited to architectural design is extensive and Maizey offers material selection advice and product training in an aim to support the industry.

RODLIN DESIGN: SPECIALISTS IN AUDITORIUM AND CONFERENCE SEATING DESIGN The success of any performance rests largely on the relationship of the audience to the performance, whether it takes place in a theatre or a sports field. An auditorium often supports more than one type of performance, or might need to serve an entirely new set of criteria as our definitions of performance evolve. Auditorium spaces are usually designed to accommodate a host of varying events to include concerts, performances, sporting events, graduations, lectures, and other ceremonies. This means that the seats that architects specify need to be adaptable, durable and easy to set up and maintain. HIGHLY ADAPTABLE Rodlin Design have resources that enable them to offer

users, owners or managers. They are equipped with a higher-than-required standard of raw materials. State-of-the-art technology ensures the durability of the entire seating structure, as well as attractive and comfortable design.

tailor­made solutions to match specific requirements. This includes numerous functional features and innovative styles for clients to choose from. All seats can be adapted for any auditorium seating arrangement.


DURABLE All Rodlin Design seating products are fully compliant with national seating standards or equivalent international standards, which ensures total safety and reliability for patrons and peace of mind for venue

EASY TO MAINTAIN Even before the design process for seating starts, installation and ease of maintenance are taken into consideration. Easyto-clean finishing and proven durability reduces ownership cost in the long run. Rodlin Design offers comprehensive auditorium seating chairs solutions for public venues, with budget-sensitive configurations all the way through to top-of-therange deluxe seating.

Egoli Gas offers the following solutions to meet your requirements:

Hot water on demand water heaters | Central hot water plant | Industrial Hot Water & Steam Co - Generation | CHP Solutions



NEOLITH’S PERFECT 10 2019 marks a significant milestone for Neolith®, commemorating the 10th anniversary of the pioneering brand of Sintered Stone. The brainchild of the forward-thinking and hugely creative Esteve Brothers, Neolith has grown spectacularly since its launch a decade ago. The brothers’ intelligent and bold move to bring Sintered Stone to market during the global recession and real estate crash was a courageous one. However, this strategic and shrewd decision to launch a brand-new surfacing category captured the imagination of the architecture and design community at a crossroads – a time when sustainable materials were just starting to make an impact in the mainstream. Significantly, Neolith’s launch allowed specifiers to apply beautiful surfaces that stand the test of time. It was a game changer and the start of an epic tale, which is still in its early stages. Since its commercial debut, the slabs have been used in a variety of prestigious projects, from glitzy celebrity residences and multiMichelin-starred restaurants to soaring skyscrapers and grand stadia. It’s made its mark as a multi-faceted material with an individual character and aesthetic. This autumn, on this milestone anniversary of its foundation, Neolith celebrates its 10th birthday and recognises all those many aspects of the brand that make it such a special, unique proposition. This ranges from the use of high-quality

materials and proprietary technology, which makes Neolith one of the most sustainable surfaces available, through to the exceptionally talented people who produce the stone day in, day out. Now, with a turnover of over €120m (about R2bn), Neolith wants to tell the remarkable story of how, from modest beginnings, it disrupted the hewn natural stone market to become a major player on the global architectural surfacing scene. WORLDWIDE WONDER From one production line to four in only 10 years, Neolith has consistently invested in its manufacturing services and capabilities. Its strong supply chain, range of beautiful surfaces and flawless finishes are evidence of this. Since its inception, Neolith has built a business with a presence across five continents, with distributors and showrooms across numerous countries. In the last five years alone, the brand has opened dedicated showrooms in major destinations such as New York, London, Tokyo, Madrid, Milan and Amsterdam. Furthermore, to offer clients an unrivalled service, Neolith has tactically implemented direct distribution in key target territories. The move demonstrably cements supply chains, strengthens relationships and ensures Neolith is readily available for any project. GREEN INITIATIVES Not only is Neolith 100% natural and resin-free, so that it does not release


any harmful substances into the environment, but Neolith board is comprised of up to 52% of recycled raw materials. Neolith has, however, observed a growing environmental awareness among designers, which has led to them innovative new products that contribute to sustainable construction and environmental conservation. A revolutionary treatment for its facade line, Pureti, for example, has a photocatalytic, self-cleaning and decontaminating effect, which means that it actively improves air quality around it. Another development, HYDRO-NDD 2.0, is a waterbased decoration technique that greatly reduces the contaminating emissions sent into the environment from traditional printing method. It won bronze in the prestigious 2019 Edison Awards. THE NEXT CHAPTER It’s an exciting time for Neolith, with a new generation focused on innovation and equipped with a set plan for the future at the helm of the company. Continuing to develop and grow, but equally embracing

and delivering according to the brand’s founding principles, it listens to customers to meet their various, bespoke needs. As Neolith Director Mar Esteve Cortes says, “Ten years in business is a significant milestone for any company, especially in the competitive market of building and construction materials. It’s been a steep learning curve for us throughout the years. As a pioneer, you always have to keep on your toes and maintain your competitive edge.” She continues, “With these years of experience – including my father and uncle’s many years previously in the stone industry – we continue to offer an unrivalled surfacing solution coupled with intuitive and personalised service. I’m so proud of everyone we work with, past and present. We base our success on a constant desire to learn and improve every aspect of what we do. I cannot wait to celebrate the next 10, 20, 30… even 100 years in business, announcing one positive period of growth on to the next!”

NEOLITH® STRATA ARGENTUM Space featuring PITT cooking burners I NEOLITH® Urban Boutique Milano (Italy) I Designed by Héctor Ruiz Velázquez I Photography: Ignacio Uribe Salazar

Interior and Exterior applications: Countertops, Cladding, Flooring, and Furniture. Resistant to stains, chemicals, extreme temperatures. Light and 100% natural. Maximum format, many thicknesses, different finishes. More than 20 selections available. Neolith® South Africa:


NINE TIPS FOR OFFICE ENTRANCE CONTROL FROM GUNNEBO Effective entrance security means managing access for employees and visitors while preventing entry to unauthorised individuals. How should architects select the best entrance control solution for their clients? You will need to consider factors such as the level of security, expected flow rates, methods of identification

FLOW RATE Find out what the peak flow rate is for the site and select a system that can handle that level of throughput.

and aesthetics. Entrance gates should add to the overall look and feel of a site and create a welcome environment. Here are nine tips for top office security:

in emergency situations.

AUTOMATED SECURITY Automated entrance control gates prevent nonauthorised individuals from passing beyond the reception area. Entrance systems such as speed gates are able to detect many different types of entrance fraud. REGISTRATION Make sure there is an area where visitors can register and have their credentials checked before being given an entry pass. IDENTIFICATION Ensure the entrance gates accept the selected methods of identification. Entrance security systems can be integrated with a range of access control readers and peripherals such as cameras, card readers, keypads, biometric identification, ticket validators, token collectors, barcode scanners and people counters.

SAFETY It is important that your entrance solution is safe and meets all the required standards and local regulations. Consider how the entrance system will act

DESIGN Entrance control solutions should complement the architecture. A 3D configurator helps clients picture the architectural impact of an entrance system. RETURN ON INVESTMENT This takes into account the initial cost of the entrance system offset against potential savings from product lifecycle, uptime and product reliability, energy efficiency and replacement or reduction of staff presence. ORGANISATION Maintain a tidy reception area that is easy to search and where foreign items cannot be easily hidden from view. Minimise design features that block lines of sight. TRAINING Make sure all reception staff understand the security procedures and know how to act in the event of an emergency.



As part of their continued commitment to supporting the governments’ SAFE initiative, Tile Africa, a division of Norcros South Africa, recently assisted Nokwazi Junior Secondary School with new toilets for their learners. “This is the first of five schools that the company has pledged to assist,” says Rachel Imasiku, Legal Director and Company Secretary for Norcros South Africa. The Nokwazi school had no pre-existing bathrooms, only pit latrines. Located in rural Ladyfrere, Eastern Cape, the school had no running water either. A twofold approach was applied. Firstly, Enviro-loo, a manufacturer of a waterless dry sanitation system, was contracted to supply toilets and urinals. This system uses sun and wind to transform human waste into a safe, stabilised material without the use of water, electricity or chemicals. This contract includes a servicing agreement to maintain the installation for two years. Secondly, a borehole was drilled to provide water for the basins. House of Plumbing, also a division of Norcros South Africa, supplied Gypsy resin-based basins for the project. These are extremely strong and don’t crack or chip. A paraplegic toilet was also installed. “We noticed that there was no formal kitchen for preparing school meals, so we decided to go beyond the original scope of the project and provide a clean space for this,” explains Imasiku. The equipment and supplies for the bathroom project had been kept in a storage container on site during the build. It was converted into a kitchen with running water piped into the sinks from the borehole. As with their association with the sani2c Jolivet community in KwaZulu-Natal, the Tile Africa trained community members to tile so that they could carry out future maintenance and repairs, and left spare tiles and adhesives at the school. “We have hired a cleaner for three months, and will return to the school before the end of the year to supply toiletries and sanitary towels for the students. Tile Africa remains available to all the schools we’ve assisted for additional support maintenance where possible,” confirms Imasiku. In 2018 Tile Africa refurbished five Gauteng schools’ bathrooms with new tiles, toilets and basins and provided training workshops about toilet care, how to use the toilet properly, and when and how to wash hands. Posters encouraging good bathroom habits were also supplied at all schools.


THE FIRST BOSCH LASER MEASURE WITH CAMERA AND INCREASED EFFICIENCY The measurement of lengths, areas, volumes and inclines is much easier and more efficient thanks to the new GLM 120 C Professional laser measure from Bosch. This easy-to-use tool is ideal for all trades that rely upon fast and precise measurements indoors and, in particular, outdoors – from architects and landscape gardeners through to painters and plasterers. Previously, it was difficult to precisely identify the laser point of a laser measure in bright environments or over long distances. This is where the new GLM 120 C

Professional comes into play: it is the first laser measure from Bosch to come with an integrated camera. Users can use this and the cross-hair on the display to precisely aim for the target point – and, as a result, they can also precisely measure over large distances of up to 120 meters. The camera has a resolution of five megapixels, works with a three-stage zoom, saves up to 700 images and shows the last 50 images, along with the measured values, in the display. This means that each individual measurement can be assigned.

BLUETOOTH INTERFACE FOR PROCESSING THE DATA Thanks to the Bluetooth interface, the measured values can be transferred directly to the Measuring Master App and be processed further. This means that, for example, you can share measured data with colleagues, carry out material calculations, or create and adjust floor plans. Furthermore, the app is

used as a remote control for the GLM 120 C Professional, meaning that measurements can be taken without blurring and without requiring any assistance from colleagues. The Measuring Master App is available to download for free from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. In addition, a Micro-USB interface means that the internal memory can be read on the PC as a CSV list and JPEG.


GLM 120 C


• 5MP camera as viewfinder with zoom function allows for precise measuring over long distances, outdoors and in complex surroundings • High-contrast IPS color display provides optimal readability • Bluetooth transfer of measurements to Measuring Master App for easy documentation and storage of measurements. • Functions: Length, area, volume, add/substitute values, continuous measure, indirect measure, stake-out, wall surface, digital spirit level, timer, memory


GLM 50 C and GLM 120 C – Laser Distance Measure Bluetooth smart measurement transfer to your smartphone or tablet with the Measuring Master App. Allowing you to easily record your measurements and create plans GTC 400 C – Thermal Camera Integrated WiFi hotspot transfer images to Measuring Master App on your smartphone. USB slot enables data transfer to computer, to organise findings easily GLL 3-80 C and GLL 3-80CG – Three plane line laser Connect your smartphone to the laser level using the Bosch Levelling Remote, allowing you to adjust the laser without the need to make direct contact GIC 120 C – Inspection Camera Easily document images or videos of your findings with micro SD card and transfer via micro USB

Bosch Measuring Tools | 011 651 9671 |



CONVERTING OLDER BUILDINGS INTO HOUSING IS A HOT TOPIC FOR FIRE SAFETY The City of Johannesburg has announced an ambitious plan to convert 500 dilapidated buildings into affordable accommodation over a two-year period to stem a critical housing shortage. However, repurposing or adapting older buildings poses unique challenges in terms of fire-safety requirements, according to ASP Fire CEO Michael van Niekerk. The fire engineering specialist has been contracted by the City of Johannesburg to undertake a detailed survey of older buildings that it can target in this regard, including Brixton and Newtown. It is also involved in a project to ensure the regulatory compliance of one of the oldest buildings in the city, believed to have been built in the 1830s. Interestingly, van Niekerk points out that buildings constructed in the early part of the latter century were actually built very well. Construction methods were robust and, to a large degree, over-specified. This was largely due to the fact that the quantity of steel and concrete used was far in excess of modern requirements, where advances in materials science have meant that safety margins can be calculated precisely. While the structure of older buildings may be sound, the challenge lies in the increased number of occupants as their purpose changes, as this means ensuring there are sufficient escape routes in place. Sometimes this will involve adding external staircases. “Even a historic building has to be made safe for occupation, and here the onus falls squarely

on the owner. If it cannot, then the number of inhabitants has to be limited accordingly,” van Niekerk explains. Other factors that have to be taken into account are adequate fire-alarm systems, sprinklers and fire doors to compartmentalise areas from smoke and fire to allow occupants to evacuate safely and rapidly in the event of an emergency. Emergency lighting also has to be factored in, especially as many of these older buildings have poor wiring. Apart from older buildings having a problematic internal layout, they are crowded together in the heart of Johannesburg, and often do not have an adequate safe distance from each other as a result. This increases the likelihood of a fire propagating in one building spreading to the next. Also related to fire safety is the issue of an adequate water supply. Multi-storey office or commercial buildings converted to residential use are densely populated, which increases the stress on an already constrained water supply for firefighting purposes. In addition, the buildings themselves have to have an adequate distribution system in terms of pumps and tanks. A cost-effective alternative in this regard is to adopt the industrial-park model, whereby a single pump set and tanks can service a range of buildings. It would be beneficial for the whole of the CBD if adequate, guaranteed firewater supplies could be available for each building.


NEW CARBONNEUTRAL FLOORING HAS ACOUSTIC BENEFITS Interface, the world’s largest modular flooring producer, has launched a new carbon-neutral sustainable collection that employs carpet tiles in combination with luxury vinyl tiles to mimic concrete and terrazzo surfaces. Look Both Ways provides flexibility in design without a damaging environmental footprint, as the carpet tile is made from recycled nylon. KBAC Flooring, now in its 50th year of operations, is the sole SA supplier of Interface flooring. Look Both Ways provides an innovative concrete and terrazzo flooring appearance, coupled with diversity of colour and texture, while absorbing more sound than most alternative flooring offerings.



render view from Sable Road





SABLE CORNER Sable Corner is a prestige development located in the heart of Century City, which is centrally located in relation to greater Cape Town, within walking distance of, among others, Century City Conference Centre and Hotel, Century Square, Axis Apartments and Virgin Active. The development comprises 13 400m2 Gross Construction Area (GCA) and is situated on the eastern corner of the Bridgeway Precinct at the intersection of Sable Road and Conference Lane. The finished structure will have an elegant faceted glass façade along with a mixture of glass, marmoran and black painted facebrick, with striking views of the Cape Town skyline and Table Mountain, as well as high visibility from adjacent roadways and the rest of the Bridgeways precinct. The interior will maintain a total lettable area of 6 800m2 across five floors of office space, of which the ground floor is also ideally suitable for showroom space. Other notable features of the building include two subterranean parking levels. Developed by Rabie Property Group, a leading Cape Town-based property development firm, Sable Corner was conceptualised and designed by the distinguished design studio, dhk Architects. The professional team for the project includes Aurecon (structural/civil), Ekcon (wet services, mechanical, fire) and QDP (electrical and electronic). The team is aiming to obtain a minimum 4-star Green Star rating upon completion of the development.

RLB Pentad has been serving as the appointed quantity surveyor for Sable Corner since the project’s conception, and is collaborating with all stakeholders involved, providing a full-scope of quantity surveying services, from Stages 1 through 6. RLB Pentad continually strives to take ambitious projects like Sable Corner from an idea to reality, in line with their slogan: Bringing Imagination to Life. RLB Pentad is proud to be associated with this project, the professional team and the developer, Rabie Property Group. Sable Corner broke ground in March 2019 and the building’s completion is planned for May 2020.



Tectra and Morpheus


wo new designs from OKHA were born out of their exclusive interior project, Clifton Terraces, recently completed in Cape Town. The new coffee and dining tables, dubbed Tectra and Morpheus, explore the concept of transition and mutability in both design and function. Both designs feature marble, a metamorphic rock, which is produced by other rock types forming interlocking crystals, making it an ideal stone to represent the concept of change and flux. OKHA creative director Adam Court hand selected polished Calcatta Vagli marble for its fluid appearance and contrasting veining, which appears as seismic motion immortalised in stone. Tectra is made of three separate “tectonic plates” or smaller side tables that interlock to combine as a coffee table. Being modular, the design reinforces the concept of a permanently evolving and shifting world at a macro level. “Tectra explores the concept

that everything from materials and ideas to anatomic elements are in a perpetual state of flux and that change is our only constant,” says Court. Morpheus draws inspiration from Greek mythology and is named after the Greek god Morpheus. In Greek mythology, Morpheus is associated with shifting shape and form in the context of sleep, and the manifestation of dreams. The double trapezoid shape of the marble tabletop is designed to


invite cross-table dialogue and communal interaction. “Morpheus symbolises metamorphosis and transition, bringing form to the subconscious in the shape of dreams,” Court explains. Natural materials that have inherent character and improve over time are a signature in many OKHA pieces, illustrated in Morpheus by the use of marble and the solid brass inlay and waxed steel legs.


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| Corporate Identity | Perforated Façades | Expanded Meta l | Façade Clad

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 Tel: (+27 11) 683 1774



Profile for New Media B2B

Leading Architecture & Design December 2019/ January 2020