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Blog | Date: May 10, 2017

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Strey Architects

Project Architects:

Friedrich Strey & Marisa de Swardt

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PATTERN STORE

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Pretoria Institute for Architecture
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We proposed the insertion of a new elevator and staircase on the west. This circulation shaft serves to as a buffer for the western sun. It also serves accommodate the new ice-chillers’ air conditioning system on its roof, in order to make it easily accessible for servicing. The existing saddle roof was replaced with a south facing saw-tooth roof, in order to allow copious amounts of southern light into the building. Extraction fans were included at roof level. They double as smoke extractors and serves to extract hot air during the summer. The new  roof is properly insulated with insulation boards and reflective foil. Light coloured powder coating paint was used to reflect as much as possible heat off the roof.

Double glazed windows were introduced for their external and sound dampening qualities. We punched holes in strategic places through the middle floors to allow visual connection between floors, the heat to rise to the top to  escape through the roof and light to penetrate to the deeper recesses of the building.

Open building services were introduced to reflect to the industrial past of the building; as well as allowing  easy access and visual inspection of leaks and problems without damaging the ceilings and disturbing the employees. We created coffered ceiling zones in order to provide zones within large open floor spaces these as well as for its acoustic properties.

We propose an open plan office layout in order to fit as many employees as possible, as well as promote interaction between departments. Everybody has a view through the window in a non deep space, open plan office layout. Glazed offices (fish tanks) were provided for management in order to create privacy and to secure their documents, while promoting literal and figurative transparency.

Modular furniture was designed to fit in as many employees as possible as well as optimizing adaptability of department sizes and employee quantities. Provision was made to ensure that employees were supplied with high quality, comfortable office chairs in order to enhance their posture, comfort and health.

Social lounge and kitchenette areas were introduced in order to promote impromptu interaction between different employees and departments, this creates an atmosphere inductive to better and quicker problem solving. Flexible conversation/board rooms which can be adapted through sliding away intermediate walls creating flexible four times four small conversation areas to 16-seater boardroom areas which can be booked by individuals to departments in advanced were introduced. These social areas and conversation rooms protrudes from the western facade with solid western walls, but southern glass to allow as much natural light as possible.
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