First Rand Offices

2002

Umhlanga Rocks

Durban

 

* as SVA(Durban)


The relocation of the regional head office for a major bank from the City Centre to an office park required a number adaptions in their corporate approach to the disposition of functions and the relationship to site conditions. The site is located on the edge of office park, therefore providing uninterrupted views over the city as well as up and down the coastline. The attendant problems of sun control in the morning period, which is towards the east over the ocean, as well as orientation of the other facades, required the careful application of a fenestration policy.

The entrance foyer is on the western edge of the building and is provided with a large floating roof on steel tree form columns. This structure provides an umbrella structure to the entrance and acts as a shading device as well as an overarching element between the two wings of the building, giving a scaling element to the largely low scaled elements of the remaining building. The main building blocks of the design, draw on differentiating the wings of the building by the use of different materials, which alternate between face brick facades and painted surfaces. These elements are further developed with the use white and charcoal portions of the fa├žade, emphasising the horizontality of the overall composition.