The average person works 8 hours a day, 5 days a week and 11 months of the year which means they spend a lot of time at the office. But unlike the effort that goes into crafting the aesthetic of a home, work spaces are often left cold, sterile and bland.
There are numerous indices like Gensler’s Workplace Index and The Leesman Index that explore the relationship between the physical space and productivity and what employees value. “Perhaps one of the largest factors of well-being is the physicalworkspace,” says Forbes journalist Jacob Morgan. “Employees who enjoy and like the environments they are a part of will be more engaged, productive, happy and healthy.”
Here are some office spaces in South Africa that not only looks nice to work at, but also complies with a vision of sustainability.
iCat Eco Factory, Pretoria
Earthworld Architects & Interiors’ iCat Eco Factory showcases ecologic, social and economic sustainability in a building that houses one of SA’s leading environmental management companies. According to the architects, their brief was to create a flagship building based on ecological sustainable principles which would showcase their philosophy toward the natural environment.
The iCat Eco Factory, which is based in Pretoria, was a commended project in the 2015/2016 AfriSam-SAIA Award for Sustainable Architecture and Innovation and stood out to judges because an industrial park is seldom commended for innovation. “The project focused on housing both the administrative and production functions of the company, thus merging corporate headquarters with warehouse space,” according tothe AfriSam-SAIA team.
HIVE, Cape Town
In 2017, Distell established their shared services centre in the Western Cape called the HIVE. The HIVE was designed by DHK, a design led multi-disciplinary company which incorporates architecture, urban design and interior design.
As the name suggests, the HIVE’s design was inspired by the busy operations of a bee hive where “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” From creating a sustainable constructive participation programme in communities, to encouraging a culture of responsible drinkers, Distell’s vision for sustainability is brought to life at the HIVE.
Foghound Coffee Shop, Johannesburg
Another brainchild from Earthworld Architects Interiors, Foghound Interactive Coffee Company is a joy for sustainable architecture. According to the architects, the brief for this project was to design a Coffee shop and Coffee Machine showroom that would portray a unique and delightful experience.
This vision was achieved through the use of shipping containers as a building material, which also resonates with the company’s sustainability policies. The containers are placed in such a manner that the cutting up and alterations of containers are minimalized. For freelancers and creatives, this is the perfect place to spread out for a day’s work.
Speakers Corner, Cape Town
Speakers Corner in the heart of Cape Town has recently been restored by Urban Lime properties to offer businesses a unique office space. “Every effort has been made to not only preserve the building’s past, with original elements like the floors, fireplaces, paint, windows and shutters being retained, but also its energy,” Urban Lime Founder and CEO Jonny Friedman recently told Leading Architecture SA.
Speakers Corner is a reminder that future focused designs and sustainable architecture doesn’t necessarily have to sprout from new developments. Sometimes the most sustainable thing to do is to not build new stuff, as architect Peter Ireland once told The Guardian.
This post is sponsored by Volkswagen Touareg and produced by BrandStudio24.