Belgotex carpets were specified for the magnificent new Stats SA building in Pretoria.

Grosskopff Lombart Huyberechts & Associates (GLH Architects) is an architectural design firm in Gauteng that designs and builds projects both locally and abroad. The company’s slogan is “Designed today, for tomorrow” and their goal is to design client-responsive projects that are both relevant and sustainable.

Just over two years ago, GHLi won the bid to manage the interior design of the new Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) building that was being constructed in Salvokop, Pretoria. The site of the new building is culturally significant because of heritage structures and buildings that are situated on the site.

GHLi, together with Paragon Architects – who did the space planning on the project – and GLH Architects, were tasked with creating a culturally conscious building that would become the new home of Stats SA. Rosanne de Castro, Senior Interior Designer at GLHi, says that there is a lot of meaning and emotion behind many of the design elements that have been incorporated in the new Stats SA building.

“We worked very closely with the client on this project as the new building’s design and theme are very close to their hearts. In a way, it felt as if they were as invested in the new building as they would have been had it been their own personal home. Stats SA occupied their old premises for many years, so this new, magnificent building has been a source of awe and excitement for everyone involved, including the design team and the client,” says Rosanne.

The design team worked tirelessly to include many cultural metaphors and symbolism in both the architecture as well as the interior design elements. The three storey building consists of five wings, known as “fingers”, and a central atrium street connecting the departments. The apex of the building is designed as a drum, which symbolises the Stats SA logo and the interpretation is that the company is drumming for a better future through better statistics. The criss-cross meshing alongside the apex drum was also incorporated in several of the flooring designs as well as other interior design elements, which is representation of the ochre tally stone.

A variety of Belgotex Floors carpeting was specified for the large project. Rosanne says that these products were chosen because of their high quality look and feel as well as their ability to meet the cost constraints of the project. Equinox Leo and Equinox Taurus were specified for the general office areas. The lighter, warmer, earthy Equinox Leo carpeting was installed in open plan office areas and the contrasting darker, charcoal coloured Equinox Taurus was installed in higher traffic areas such as passages. Belgotex Floors’ 5th Avenue Diesel was installed in special areas such as the training centre and the auditorium. The dark and light combination serves as demarcation as well as brings a unique contrasting look and feel to the building’s interior.

Three different custom carpets were designed for the new Stats SA building. A unique black and grey custom carpet with a drum image can be found in the pre-function area. A muted blue custom carpet that showcases the meshing lines of symbolic tally stone also evident in the new Stats SA logo was designed for the large coffee shop that is able to seat 2 500 people, and plush broadloom custom carpets were created for the executive boardroom and diningroom areas. Kevin Bates Flooring was responsible for the carpeting installations throughout the building.

Rosanne says that GLH Interiors’ experience with Belgotex Floors has been a very positive one because of the company’s commitment to always go above and beyond expectation to get the job done, as well as their industry knowledge and technological know-how.

“Belgotex is a very hands-on service provider. In the architecture and interior design industry, deadlines are tight and things can often be beyond urgent. The team at Belgotex were very patient with us as we tried out different designs, styles and colours and they were always willing to experiment with new ideas and still deliver the final product on time,” says Rosanne.

“Belgotex continues to push the limits in terms of what is available locally and they are very in touch with international design and flooring trends. They understand the local market and the challenges we face. I have found that on large, important projects such as the new Stats SA building, they are a pleasure to do business with,” concludes Rosanne.