Pretoria’s National Research Foundation: A before and after piece

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Before & After - Interior Upgrade of The National Research Foundation, Pretoria , Nuclei Lifestyle Design Nuclei Lifestyle Design Commercial spaces
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As far as experience goes, Pretoria-based architectural firm Nuclei Lifestyle Design presents a not-too-shabby 30+ years’ industry experience. Ticking off both architecture and interior design from high-profile clients’ needs-and-wants lists, Nuclei Lifestyle Design has quite the impressive portfolio that showcases its commitment to excellence. Some of the firm’s more renowned areas of creative expertise include luxurious homes, offices, and retail environments. Made up of architects, designers, and technicians, Nuclei Lifestyle Design operates under the watchful and leading eye of experienced architect Hennie Pelser.

Let’s take a look at one of the firm’s corporate interior design projects: the interior upgrade of The National Research Foundation in Pretoria. 

What had to be done?

Thanks to the successful upgrade of the Research Library at the NRF Head Office in Pretoria, Nuclei Lifestyle Design won the tender for renovating the interiors of the NRF Head Office Building as well.  

As per the brief, the professionals had to do a complete interior upgrade of the main entrance foyer, reception area, the auditorium entrance foyer, all corridors and stairwells, plus the four main boardrooms and auxiliary entertainment areas.

The new waiting area

As first impressions are everything, the existing foyer had to undergo a revamp (a modernised corporate style) to align the office environment with the restructured corporate identity. 

Thus, out with the old planters and various tiles, as well as the non-corporate seating, and in with a clean, professional and functional look that covered everything from the floors to the ceiling – and that includes the lighting, which now takes centre stage in the form of pendant lights dangling from above. 

To welcome personal and professional contact with visitors, separate seating groups were formed. 

The old waiting area

How can you appreciate the new and improved look without knowing what it replaced?

The new and improved boardrooms

All four of the old boardroom shared the same dark and dull look. And although the professionals worked with a rather tight budget, they managed to successfully redesign and upgrade each one into a functional and stylish space perfect for 21st century corporate gathering. 

One key requirement from management was to brighten up the interiors by adding more colour. And that is why everything from the entry foyer and office areas to the new boardrooms sport a dash of bright red, purple, or other equally striking tint. 

All of the boardrooms are named after esteemed Nobel Prize Winners. Working with this as a theme, each one’s new look included signatures on the walls as well as oversized artwork, resulting in unique identities for each of the four meeting spaces. 

Let’s catch a glimpse of some more before/after images that speak of this triumphant makeover project.

The interior space: After

The stairwell: Before

What are your thoughts on the new look of the foyer, boardrooms, stairwell, etc?

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