The just completed office complex for Mazars in Johannesburg marks a paradigm shift from the idea of commercial architecture. While it seeks to convey the companies values and inbuilt traditions, it departs from a conventional office complex and borders into an abode. The toned down concrete, playful facades and expansive forms break apart the massing of the project and connect at the entrance to create a harmonious union that sort of seem to echo a oneness, almost sacred.
You can almost see the deliberate intentions in making the office block feel like a home, albeit metaphorically, it represents a contemporary typology of residential architecture coming up rapidly in South Africa but still sticks to its roots as a commercial building.
It is one of those aspects you can only feel as you drive past it, as you turn from one edge facade, into the front glazed face, past the cantilevered form, the sandwiched entrance with patterned facade language and again into the subsequent edged facade.
In the just released images, Tristan McLaren conveys just these same intentions in the photographs.
From the Architects:
The new development at 54 Glenhove, in Melrose Estate will achieve practical completion during May 2016. The building has a total rentable area of 5687m2. Half of the building will be occupied by the Johannesburg office of the auditing, accounting, tax and advisory firm, Mazars. They will commence the occupation of their accommodation during May 2016. The Johannesburg office of Mazars has a staff complement of 175 and they have moved from their office in Parktown. The developers of the project, Alchemy have also taken space in the building with the balance being let to other tenants. There are 276 parking bays.
The building continues the volumetric exploration of form expressed in other buildings on Glenhove Road and exploits its location close to the M1 highway and its refreshing adjacency to the Houghton Golf Course.
The structure form sits atop a podium which appears almost as a lily pad and explores bold rectilinear shapes with fenestrated blocks piercing the exoskeleton of the monolithic structure. The windows appear as dense gems expressed in highly reflective glass which contributes to the control of emissivity of the building.
The H-shaped plan has been designed to allow for a single tenant or in this case a number of tenants. The east and west wings are separated by an atrium and connected with bridges, enclosed in a double skinned integument which allows light but reduces heat. This contributes to the occupants receiving sunlight and revitalising views of the golf course and its vegetation.
The facilities include refreshment and catering stations for Mazars, a joggers shower station (also available for cyclists) and a roof top entertainment area to fully appreciate its sylvan setting.
The graphics draw their inspiration from the surrounding trees and this continues into the interior design and colours. This complements the tone of an auditing firm to showcase their corporate values and brand identity. Achieved throughout by Paragon’s finely honed ability at perspicuous value engineered design viz. stimulating but restrained without the monotony often associated with Corporate design.
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