Investec Bank decided to move from their offices in Durban’s CBD to an office park in a new periurban business centre. A landmark corner site was selected with panoramic views over the Indian Ocean and high visual exposure to major arterials. The brief was to provide premium grade offices with a sophisticated expression capturing an established corporate image and rendered in high quality materials. A building that would not only complement the existing Investec portfolio of offices around the country, but convey the institution as a leading international investment bank.
The spectacular ocean and distant views across to the cityscape had a major influence on informing the arrangement of the office space around public interface and service spaces. An expressed desire for transparency and that all the occupant’s experience activity within the building acted as a design driver, being displayed by a dramatic glazed atrium, glass partition office walls and three prismatic cantilevered meeting pods. Sets of escalators convey circulation in the arrival space and generate a legible energy in the heart of the focal space. This office building displays a broad range of sustainability initiatives including raised office floors throughout with displacement air conditioning, an energy fly wheel system on the air conditioning to retain energy from the exhaust air and reversible heat pumps to capture the byproduct energy from one system and use it on another. A feature which significantly distinguishes this building, is the delicate veil fritted glass suspended as a screen to the atrium envelope. Fritted toughened glass panels, supported on stainless steel spider fittings attenuate light ingress and act as a sunshade to the atrium and exhibit a sheer façade which complements the granite clad forms of the building to deliver a memorable signature.