GE Africa Innovation Centre
Paragon Architects South Africa - South Africa
Drawings, plans, elevations
The GE Africa Innovation Centre (GEAIC) is committed to collaboration, innovation and strategic dialogues with key stakeholders across Sub-Saharan Africa. The vision was to promote an integrated and balanced health- and wellness-driven work environment. Functional spaces include a publicly-accessible ground floor with a health-focused work café and digital exhibition centre, collaboration zones, and outdoor collaboration area. The brief by GE Global Properties with future client, the GE Innovation Centre, was to create a mixed-use, flexible, functional, robust and sustainable environment highlighting the key principles of GE, industrial innovation and African collaboration. The 3 storey, 2454 m² (GLA) building is located on Glenhove Road, Rosebank, adjacent to key commercial nodes. The primarily East-facing glazed structure, has access and parking on the West, and is overlooking a golf-course on the South. The restricted access first floor is devoted to permanent tenanting and incorporates agile workspaces and a fully-equipped GE Africa Healthcare training centre. The top floor includes a flexible learning and development centre, collaboration rooms, and multi-disciplinary laboratory. The basement parking includes, showers, bicycles and spaces for green leaf vehicles. According to the client brief, the Innovation Centre had to adhere to global and local best practice towards a more sustainable built environment. Sustainability features include an intelligent building monitoring system, live on-screen energy/waste and water usage reports, a world class VRV aircon system incorporating high levels of fresh air input, and heat recovery systems. Furthermore, the building has occupancy controlled lighting, efficient water use features and the occupants can enjoy substantial external views over xeriscaped gardens. Water efficient, planted walls were also incorporated. The building is currently being evaluated and seeks to achieve both 5-Star Green Star Interiors and LEED Gold As-Built certifications. Conceptually, the space is informed by an African geometric design language, drawn from African settlements, fabrics and surfaces: abstracted circular, angular and linear fractal elements, which are integrated into the structural and aesthetic elements of the GEAIC creating a uniquely African, yet global, contemporary corporate spatial design. As such the fit-out in the Customer Experience centre, Healthcare Experience, and Training and Development Centre showcases and teaches users about GE’s technology towards African localised sustainability in the industries of energy, aviation, healthcare, oil and gas, and transportation.