Red awakening

ANCA SZALAVICZ
Tuesday 02 Feb 2010

Abandoned buildings transformed into colourful corporate head office

In 2008 Technicrete, a leading South African manufacturer of concrete products and a subsidiary of Murray & Roberts group of companies, took the decision to establish their new Head Office on a site next to an exising concrete factory. The site, of a narrow triangular shape already contained three abandoned structures of different styles and ages and of poor infrastructure, totaling 750sq m. This decision implied a comprehensive refurbishment of the existing structures with an addition of 500sqm.

The client's brief requested that architects ASA Architectural Designs use as much of the existing buildings as possible as well as making provisions for future expansion, all within a tight budget. In order to create a sustainable adaptation, some major design constraints needed to be addressed: the unusual shape and condition of the buildings and the noise levels from the adjacent factory.

ASA endeavored to achieve that by seamlessly blending the new and the refurbished with a level added above the entrance foyer. This way the foyer opens up to a double volume while the executive boardrooms on top open out to a large entertainment terrace.

The terrace as well as panoramic windows respond to the magnificent views while receiving the desirable northern light.

To dampen the noise coming from the adjacent factory ASA shifted the bulk of office space to the northern side, and all services to the southern side, next to the factory.

Internal finishes and fittings are of high quality, imparting a sense of durability rather than luxury.

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