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Project: Rubela Park

Online since 9.03.2018 • Filed under Professions - Architecture • From Issue 23 page(s) 40-41
Project: Rubela Park

On a challenging site, Architects of Justice (AOJ) have created a geometrically striking industrial-chic office building which employs forthright sustainable design methodology and technology.

 

The three partners in Architects of Justice, Mike Rassmann, Kuba Granicki and Alessio Lacovig, formally established their practice in 2009 after working in various other architectural practices. The practice is based in Germiston and draws its name from a common desire among the partners to have a positive effect on the built environment by doing justice to their clients, their sites and architecture in all their projects. ‘In mid-2015 we were commissioned to design a new office building for Caldas Engineering, a supplier of crusher parts to the mining industry,’ says principal architect, Mike Rassmann. The client required more yard space (for stock storage) and more office space (to accommodate their increasing staff complement). They acquired a 4300m² rectangular property in Activia Park, Germiston, which met their requirements for more yard space but unfortunately did not have any quality office space on it.

 

Locating the office space

‘The property had limited derelict office space at the back of the site and we had to maximise the yard area since every spare square metre of space would be beneficial for the client,’ explains Rassmann. Hence the starting point for the design was to locate and size the new office building, named Rubela Park, on the site to maximise the yard space, while ensuring that the new building would have an optimal solar orientation. This proved to be quite a challenge as the position for the access road on the east boundary and the orientation of the site, which runs lengthways east to west, meant that laying the building out for optimal north solar exposure would firstly impede on the yard space and secondly, reduce the street exposure of the building. Rassmann explains that AOJ paid very close attention to, and made use of, the town planning requirements to take advantage of the guidelines and get the maximum number of storeys in the building to lay the square meterage out over more floors and reduce the footprint of the building, which in turn increased the amount of yard area. since every spare square metre of space would be beneficial for the client,’ explains Rassmann. Hence the starting point for the design was to locate and size the new office building, named Rubela Park, on the site to maximise the yard space, while ensuring that the new building would have an optimal solar orientation.

 

This proved to be quite a challenge as the position for the access road on the east boundary and the orientation of the site, which runs lengthways east to west, meant that laying the building out for optimal north solar exposure would firstly impede on the yard space and secondly, reduce the street exposure of the building. Rassmann explains that AOJ paid very close attention to, and made use of, the town planning requirements to take advantage of the guidelines and get the maximum number of storeys in the building to lay the square meterage out over more floors and reduce the footprint of the building, which in turn increased the amount of yard area.

 

Key project office space attributes

• Low maintenance

• PV rootop

• Green credentials

• Rainwater harvesting

• Comfortable internal climate

• retrofittable to higher grade office space The project received a Gauteng Institute for Architecture (GIFA) Award of Commendation in 2017 and Rassmann feels that it is always a highlight when projects are acknowledged by others.

 

 

‘We knew that the client was happy with the outcome, as were we, otherwise we would not have submitted the project for the awards, but to be recognised does cement that notion.’

GIFA describe the project as a box in a box in a box, but much crisper and lighter than can normally be expected from mere industrial buildings. ‘Fastidious detailing and a sense of width and space shows a generous but particular design state of mind. The client and staff have been transported by the architects to a work environment that is open, free and light and enhances collaboration and pride.’

 

Project team

Architects: Architects of Justice

Project Managers: Condor & Co Project Management

Quantity Surveyors: Lyndon Projects (PTY) LTD

Structural Engineers: V&H Consulting

Civil Engineers: Klunene Consulting Civil Engineers

Contractor: Zatmar Construction

Issue 23

Issue 23

March 2018

This article was featured on page 40-41 of
To Build Magazine Issue 23.

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