4 Star Green Star rated Office Building for Johannesburg
Monday 04 Feb 2013


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Alexander Forbes is a large financial services company with 2300 employees. In his address to the staff on 16 October 2012, the CEO, Edward Kieswetter spoke of the pride of Alexander Forbes at moving into their new headquarters. 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 mores the company wishes to convey to its clients but also to enrich the lives of its employees. This is revealed in the interior design and current developments in sustainable architecture. The briefing called for four spatial types: • the client interface spaces • the open plan floor plates • the common break-out facilities • the executive level The function and tone of each of these spatial types served to interpret and formulate the design brief. The client interface areas were required to be elegant and refined, yet personable and needed to accommodate the wide range of Alexander Forbes clients from investor to individual. Paragon Interface interpreted these requirements with a range of textures that were tactile and warm with a connection to nature. Innovation and originality commence with large reception pods to enclose the reception staff who sit in an 8 storey high atrium but need to be protected from the moving sun. They are clad in bamboo to add an immediate feeling of warmth as the user enters this light filled volume which include ficus benjamina trees; generating a forest walk sensation. The rugs and the carpets in the client interface areas were modelled from rock strata while again a bamboo veneer was used to clad the wall surfaces. In contrast to the restrained floor plates, the break-out facilities on each floor have a far more playful and colourful character. They are designed to stimulate and encourage creativity. The tone of the executive level reflects the richness and layering of experience that the company seeks to communicate with its clients. Art gathered over time, articulates the warm spaces which flow between the volumes that lead Alexander Forbes. Passive heating & cooling systems, water recycling and xeriscaping contribute towards its 4 Star Green Star rating.

Paragon Interface