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BMW (SA) HEAD OFFICE REFURBISHMENT
Drawings, plans, elevations
Controversially questioning the rigorous briefing requirements presented by BMW(SA) for the competition to refurbish the architecturally iconic Hans Hallen building, dissolved the rigidity encapsulating the conventional solution. The resultant dialogue promoted creative resolution of the briefing requirements. Conceptually, the design focuses on the regeneration of the iconic structure – maintaining the spirit of the original building while infusing the envelope with the life of a new entity. The intention being to create harmony between the past, the present and the future.‘One can design a good building, but left in good hands, it can be better. It’s a good building. They improved it in many respects.’ Hans Hallen when visiting the refurbished building 2016Minimum intervention to the outer façade of this circular building ensured retention of its elegant, dark brick appeal – the only addition being lightweight horizontal louvres, strategically installed to reduce the glare of the western sun. In stark contrast, the inner façade was stripped and extended into the newly landscaped courtyard; increasing visual connection with the landscaping, efficiency of the circulation space, transmission of natural light via the fully glazed façade, as well as increasing comfort levels in the interior spaces. The transparency of this façade and the seamless indoor-outdoor flow are enhanced by dynamic, solar tracking, fritted glass louvres.Optimisation of the building envelope and the notion of transparency are further complimented by the design of an adaptive interior space, enabled by a number of carefully orchestrated interventions. Ease of ingress and egress, as well as principles of universal access were applied to facilitate movement through the building by people with physical impairment. The new landscaping concept uses the existing courtyard quadrants to advantage – each quadrant having a different purpose, unified by movement routes which delineate the access points to the building. The original pond feature, which is pivotal in the landscape, is reinvented as a living, biofilter system. With green principles being central to the design concept, it was imperative that thermal comfort and energy efficiency be addressed to achieve an holistic solution to the working environment. As such, the building underwent a complete reinvention of its lighting, ventilation and hot water generation systems – the solution required a satellite Energy Centre, with more suitable equipment for the generation and back up of the three systems, to be built, as well as the installation of a photo voltaic system.Refurbishing a building is inherently sustainable due to the reuse of embodied energy. Using this solid foundation and adding the rigorous implementation of sustainable and energy efficiency principles, facilitated the BMW (South Africa) Head Office achieving its expectation of a GREEN STAR 5* rating (awarded by the Green Building Council of South Africa). The final product is a carefully engineered co-existence between efficient dynamics, reinventing a respected architectural icon, implementing an international corporate standard, improving dialogue within the working environment and extending the building’s lifespan through progressive building principles.Enhanced light, lines and simplicity represent the internationally recognised BMW brand – design, passion, technology, innovation and attention to detail.
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