The Paragon Group has confirmed its place as one of the premier architecture and design firms in South Africa, with Paragon Architects and Paragon Interface clinching four major awards at the South African Property Owners’ Association (SAPOA) awards held during its recent annual convention in Cape Town.
The Johannesburg-based Group won the Office Developments: Corporate Award for the iconic Sasol Place in Sandton, Interiors (Sasol Place), Innovation Developments (GE Africa Innovation Centre), and the prestigious Overall Winner (Sasol Place).
“The SAPOA Awards 2017 proved to be very successful for Paragon. We entered seven projects and walked away with four awards. We are delighted, and appreciate the very hard work put in by our staff,” Director Anthony Orelowitz comments.
The projects illustrate how sustainability and innovation go hand in hand, according to Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) CEO Dorah Modise. “These Green Star certified, award-winning projects are shining examples of the best that ‘green’ building has to offer. They are world-class examples in a South African setting.”
The success of Sasol Place has cemented Paragon Architects’ ongoing and prominent success in the Sandton area, including such flagship developments as the Norton Rose Fulbright offices in Alice Lane and Alice Lane 3 for Bowman Gilfillan.
Sasol Place, the new 11-storey, 67 000 m2 head office for the South African petrochemical giant, was developed by Alchemy Properties and the Sasol Pension Fund for Sasol. The main contractor was Aveng Grinaker-LTA, while the project manager was Capex Projects.
The new head office reduces Sasol’s office footprint by as much as 40%, by consolidating 17 Sasol offices across Johannesburg in a single building. While accommodating 2 500 employees at present, in addition to 300 auxiliary staff, the ‘future-proof’ design means the head office is flexible enough for future expansion up to 7000 staff members.
The 47-m-high building comprises seven parking levels, a ground floor, and ten office floors. Prominent design features include a restaurant, coffee shop, wellness centre, convenience store, fitness centre, and even a dedicated gallery and sculpture garden to showcase Sasol’s continued support of contemporary South African artists.
The super-modern head office incorporates a range of sustainable practices, from water recycling to LED lighting, and has been awarded a 5 Star Green Star Design V1 rating from the GBCSA. ‘As Built’ certification will take a year further. There are even indigenous biomes for local wildlife, insects, and birds within the grounds and on the rooftop.
The GE Innovation Centre in Houghton Estate, Johannesburg is both Green Star and LEED-certified and is one of 12 worldwide, built to house permanent staff, as well as training and research facilities. The interior design features furniture from African designers, for example.
The 2017 SAPOA Convention and Property Exhibition took place under the theme of ‘Disruption’, with the aim of challenging the industry’s knowledge base, giving the opportunity to explore the innovation inherent in disruptive technology in real estate.