A redesign of a 1980’s rationalist structure as a versatile workspace that utilises the building’s site to fuller effect, 22 Fredman Drive in Sandton received the SAPOA Award for Innovative Excellence in Property Development in the Refurbishment Category.
Completed in 2008, the existing structure was transformed into a better functioning and sophisticated building in response to the needs of its occupants, Routledge Modise Moss Morris (RMMM) Attorneys and Zenprop.
Similar to buildings of its kind, the existing block was placed diagonally on site, facing due north, with scant regard for the future functioning of the site and the changing needs and flexibility required by tenants in the commercial property market.
The project began with a thorough review of the value of the existing structure. Given the original construction, the existing façade and servicing concept proved to be unsuitable for integration into a new design. The entire structure was therefore stripped, and all façade elements removed.
The site planning solution consists of two triangular wedges of multi-level accommodation placed on the corners of the existing building: one devoted to parking, the other to office, gym and canteen accommodation. This solution maximised usable space. The lower office floors were replaced by parking; while the lost rentable area was then added on top of the building and in a separate annex building to the north.
The new building design provides for a generous and prominent new entrance to the building from the southern side. A soaring, glass-enclosed vertical space has been cut through all floors, forming a narrow ‘waist’ providing views through the depth of the building’s floor plate on the lower floors. Care has been taken in the three-dimensional modelling and articulation of the design to balance vertical and horizontal lines in the building. The overall composition has a visual tension and a balance of line that has been consistently carried through in the design.
The building has been substantially transformed as a piece of architecture, and given a much stronger urban presence and character. Internal circulation has been fundamentally reorganised. As a result of this, the building represents a completely different, more robust and flexible letting solution and value proposition for the developer.