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Project Review – Corobay Corner

by Tania Wannenburg
Belgotex Skyscape_Jnl513

Corobay Corner comprised a total floor area of 12 000m2 where carpet tiles were laid in a barcode pattern in the general office space.

The co-owners of Skyscape Architects, AD Smit and Ockert Pienaar (based in Brooklyn, Pretoria), were colleagues at Boogertman & Partners. They decided to establish their own practice that would enable them to be close to the projects and become completely involved in the whole experience from start to finish. This also enabled them to bring their individual talents and expertise together to provide a holistic integrated design solution for their clients.

Although not excluding residential projects, the practice specialises in commercial architecture comprising mostly offices and shopping centres. Skyscape is committed to creating projects which are conceptually strong and focusses on design excellence and engaging the surrounding context. The firm has a strong belief that offices must be a unique environment which supports productive experiences and should be flexible to enable the tenant to obtain the best usage of the space.

Skyscape call it “Personalisation of Spaces”, giving the interior space some freedom, and providing differentiated spaces with an opportunity of individualisation. “Most companies realise that if they have happy staff they have productive staff. We are seeing that companies are investing in high quality environments for their employees.”

“We see this as inverted space planning geared towards the employees. For example, we turned the traditional pyramid around in one office building we designed: the managing director was in his office only 2% of the time; that impacted on the space planning. His personal assistant was assigned the large office and he only required a ‘hot desk’. In the traditional model, the more senior member gets the bigger desk, office and plusher carpet. In terms of quality of finishes everybody gets the same specification effectively nullifying the traditional pyramid.”

“When dealing with flooring specification, it is necessary to look at the overall design concept because it’s not just the floor, it’s about the interior space as a whole.”

Regarding the environmental sustainability aspects of design, Skyscape encourages clients to integrate green principles into a design, as they feel that everyone has a part to play, no matter how small.

How does Skyscape select the products they use? The credentials of each product are essential – the products must comply with the basic technical requirements, must have a good track record and be compliant with all the relevant codes.

In this respect, Skyscape say they read FLOORS in Africa avidly to get immediate exposure to new projects, products and problem solving. They have found that although the big trend is for manufacturers to establish a call centre to render technical advice, in most cases these are largely unable to fully assist, and it becomes a big headache to find the required answers or solutions.

Belgotex Commercial (Nexus) carpeting

For the project at Corobay Corner, which comprises a total floor area of 12 000m², Skyscape entered into a joint venture known as Blackwood Architects with Barnes Van Der Walt Architects. The flooring contractor was Peter Bates Flooring and for this project Belgotex Commercial carpet tiles were laid in a barcode pattern in the general office space, using a plain Belgotex Commercial 500mm x 500mm Berber Point 920 ResinBac carpet tile in three colours: Ochre, Charcoal and Marley.

Berber Point 920 is an extremely popular structured needlepunch carpet tile rated for Heavy Commercial use which is manufactured under the Belgotex environmental management system to SABS ISO 14001, and which has stood the test of time.

These polypropylene carpet tiles are colourfast, stain-resistant, anti-microbial, anti-allergenic and not normally affected by insects, mould or mildew.

DuraTurf

Another project recently completed was a library in Soshanguve, where charity organisation Atterbury Foundation, was the sponsor. The city council manages the library and the surrounding open space here and it was found that natural grass wouldn’t work in this installation because of the number of children using the play structures and the area being fairly dry. Belgotex DuraTurf artificial grass from the Bermuda range was installed to great effect. No maintenance is required, and it always looks like freshly mowed lawn despite the harsh environment and hard-core playing.

Parklands Emerald Grass was used in this project. Manufactured from polyethylene with a pile height of approximately 28mm, this high-quality artificial grass is provided with a 5-year manufacturing guarantee, and a 6-year UV warranty.

Why Belgotex Commercial?

Skyscape Architects say that the level of service provided by Belgotex Floorcoverings is outstanding. “We have been working with Belgotex Commercial for the past seven years, and they always provide reliable specifications with minimal after-installation issues. If ever there is an issue they proactively assist and find a solution.”

“When we specify we always take into consideration products that exhibit excellent aesthetics, are fit for purpose, and meet the required specification. Belgotex Commercial is always on hand with green specification assistance, site inspections, and their product has a wonderful array of colour options.”

“When using Belgotex Commercial you get more than just the product they are selling; you also get high levels of service and technical hands-on support. They provide solid service delivery every time.”

“We can recommend them to clients with full confidence.”

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