The brief was to convert the existing Millennia Park Office building in Stellenbosch into a green building and corporate head office for investment giant, Remgro.
5 Star Green Building
The office building achieved a 5 star Greenstar SA Office v1 ‘Design’ certification from the Green Building Council SA (GBCSA) on 13 February 2012 – the first time that a refurbished building has received this accolade.
TV3 Architects recognized the modern simplicity and landmark value of the existing building and opted to retain various architectural components, especially the manner in which the gutter line of the roof meets the top of the façade wall – an element which is reminiscent of typical Stellenbosch “walled” architecture. The already layered facades together with the introduction of new sun louvers and double glazing, contributed greatly in optimizing the ambient quality within the building envelope.
A new boardroom component was introduced as part of a double volume entrance spine; this spine incorporates a new entrance foyer, reception, and main vertical circulation core. The spine is visually accentuated by means of continuous steel and glass ribbed skylight perpendicular to the main roofline.
Some of the major design constraints of the old office building were the deep and dark internal spaces, long narrow passages and the low headroom on the ground floor. These constraints were addressed by the introduction of 4 large skylights above double volumes, glass partitions and curved passages linked by means of open pause areas.
A sensitively scaled, single storey cafeteria component was added on the west side adjacent to a natural wetland nestled between the confluence of the Plankenburg- and Eerste Rivers. This quiet corner of the site allows the inhabitants of the building to experience the rehabilitated natural wetland and beautiful indigenous gardens.
A new mezzanine floor was introduced inside the existing roof space to allow for much needed storage space and future growth. The old steel roof structure was reused in the manufacturing of the new undercover parking structures – 70% of all steel used on site came from the original building. Crushed stone and concrete from the demolished components was also re-used to lift the level of the parking area above the 50 year floodplain. Apart from the 50% of the old paving that was reused in the new layout, a new permeable paving system was introduced in specific areas of the parking lot to allow for extensive rain water collection and part of a 3 tier water filtration system.
The result of this refurbishment equates to a sustainable and environmentally sensitive building defined visually by an understated and contemporary architectural language.