Podium at Menlyn

Podium at Menlyn Ph1
Pretoria, South Africa
Emira Property Fund
Completed 2012

Director: Francois Bredenkamp
Team: Jayesh Bhoola; Werner Kunneke; Gisela Patlansky; Anneke Dearlove

The seamless triangular union of glass and off-shutter concrete was inspired by the ancient engraved artworks found in the Blombos Caves on the southern Cape coast of South Africa. This symbolises a bridge between a 77,000-year-old culture and the future of South Africa. Inspiration was also drawn from the ancient Chinese tangram dissection puzzle.

The design team met the client’s “Icon” part of the brief by transforming this ancient game into a magnificent triangular grid, which features on the eastern and southern facades of the building. The abstract design is produced as a modular unit that can be configured into a geometric grid, making the implementation of the design an exact science and representing a synthesis of mathematics, symbolic systems and art. Even the basement and lift lobby artwork make use of these tans to create a “geometrical garden” within an urban space, giving the feeling of being in a digital landscape. The artwork transforms a once dull basement into an exciting space through which to enter for a day’s work. The design suggests both the archaic nature of its origins and the sophistication of 21st-century technology.

2013 Fulton Awards Winner - Innovative Construction and Commendation for Architectural Concrete