2,500-capacity commercial building for Alexander Forbes completes in Sandton
The new building at 115 West Street, Sandton, Johannesburg was officially opened to staff at Alexander Forbes during November 2012. It occupies a prime position opposite the high speed Gautrain Sandton station. It is the first view that foreign visitors will get on arriving in Johannesburg City.
Designed to accommodate 2,500 people, there are currently about 2,200 housed in the building. Almost the entire staff turned out in the atria and auditoria to be welcomed by their Chief Executive Officer. Also on stage at the opening was Stuart Gibbs from Zenprop, the contractors; and Brian Wilkinson CEO of the Green Building Council of South Africa. Brian was there to confirm the accreditation of a 4 star Green Star Design V1 rating for the building.
The as-built confirmation will be completed in February 2013. This is the largest and most complex building by Paragon Architects and Paragon Interface, to be accorded this distinction. This lengthy and fairly complex procedure had commenced almost two years ago with the design of the building and done in consultation with PJ Carew Consulting.
In his address to the staff, Edward Kieswetter spoke of the pride of Alexander Forbes at moving into their new headquarters from the previously inefficient arrangement further up Rivonia Road. He revealed how the design of the new building reflected the values and attitudes of the company. These extended from the transparency the company wishes to portray and is reflected in the huge volumes of natural light and glazed layering.
Trust, which is a major component of the financial services industry, is extended throughout the design elements of the building revealing not only the morals the company wishes to convey to its clients but also to enrich the lives of its employees. This is revealed in the architectural design and current developments in sustainable architecture, including reducing waste and recycling.
Anthony Orelowitz, the director from Paragon Architects who lead the project described the major design elements of the project. These included the built response to a slight complicated north-west orientation, the efficiency of the floor plans, the variation of façade treatments according to orientation and the large attention paid to glazing and light control through scallops and atria.