The new headquarters building of the South African Department of Environmental Affairs in Pretoria has been awarded a six star Green Star rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa.
The building comprises 27,422 square metres of office and access space, housing 1305 people and providing parking for approximately 600 vehicles. The overall building concept is divided into three distinct elements: the masculine and utilitarian office wings, the feminine and organic central reception building, and finally the ‘bridge structure’ that links all of the elements together.
The interior design reflects a modern African feel that is based on sensitivity towards sustainable and environmentally friendly spaces, without resorting to the usual highly literal pastiche. The primeval nautilus shell motif, based on naturally occurring fractal geometry, speaks of birth and origin, growth and progression. This is also reflected in the landscape design, including a four-storey-high vertical feature garden.