@14 Richmond

An inner-city office renovation breathing new life into a dilapidated building

2020, Richmond, Johannesburg, South Africa
Area: 588m²
Project Team: Nadine Clarke, Rory David

The (Pr)opportunity

Having assisted this corporate client with their current building in Richmond, Johannesburg, they contacted us when the neighbouring property was put up for sale as they spotted an opportunity to convert it into a conference facility for their annual general conference. The development would also provide supplementary facilities for daily use.


The Opportunity Actualised (Design response)

We arrived to find a poorly altered building that was in dire need of maintenance and repair. Further investigation revealed a building with heritage status. However, the building was far removed from its heritage and original aesthetic.

The original development in 1937 consisted of a semidetached dwelling and a cottage and in 1986 the buildings were redeveloped and connected to create offices.

Our approach was very pragmatic: the main driver was the client’s requirement for a 150-seater conference hall. Once we’d determined that the conference hall would need to be positioned on the west side of the site, in what was the existing semidetached homes; from here, the remaining layout was dictated.  Public areas were grouped together on the west side adjacent to the conference hall while the more private requirements were accommodated in the smaller east building.

For security reasons the building is no longer accessed off the street but via the carpark on the south side to this end we created a new covered entrance and lobby between the two buildings here.  A laser cut sliding gate serves as signage and security for the new lobby. A low maintenance landscaped central courtyard between the buildings greets guests upon arrival.

In keeping with the design logic new public bathrooms were positioned adjacent to the lobby and conference hall. Bathroom windows are screened externally with laser cut screens to providing privacy, security and a better aesthetic upon arrival.

The existing board room was divided into a smaller board room, kitchenette and flexible canteen to service the public functions of the building.

The existing courtyard between this and the auditorium was utilised as a spill out space and upgraded with new surface treatments, minimal landscaping and a pergola for shade.

The existing terrace on the street side of the building was enlarged, and the stair access reduced, to create a spill out space for delegates from the auditorium. The option for access from the street is still available should this be required, with new gates and fencing for security.

A series of new pergolas were designed over the terrace and access to connect the separate wings of the building with a cohesive architectural language, while providing user friendly shaded spaces. Vertical screens that wrap vertically down from the pergola add privacy, additional shading and security to the terrace space.

The more private office accommodation consists of a small gym, a changeroom, bathroom and staff kitchenette. A small boardroom, offices and storage complete the private office requirements.

We loved this challenge and were thrilled with the result, and look forward to it being realised.


Need your office space revamped?

If you like our approach and want to work with us on your office revamp, feel free to call or email us to set up an appointment to discuss your requirements. Our sister company Mint [Meik Interiors] will also be able to assist you with all your space planning and interior design requirements.

Nadine: 082 809 1970 || Studio: 011 025 8318 || info@meik.co.za