Sable Park is an office building situated within the Century City’s Bridgeways precinct. This brings to 19 the number of Green Star rated buildings in the Century City precinct. The 16 300 square metre Sable Park office development comprises two four-storey buildings, the larger of which has been let to Discovery. Being developed by the Rabie Property Group at a cost of R460-million, each of the buildings has two levels of underground parking.
Rabie Property Group’s broker liaison, Jason Elley, says negotiations are well under way with a number of global players for the second building which is ideally suited for a large user looking to make a strong corporate statement. “However, it has been designed to be flexible and if needs be, could be sub-divided to accommodate two or three users,” explains Elley.
Designed by the award-winning dhk Architects, the modern buildings front on to Sable Road providing high visibility and offering uninterrupted panoramic views of Table Mountain and Table Bay.
Green consultant Mlondolozi Hempe of PJ Carew Consulting says the development’s sustainability features include the use of treated effluent from Potsdam Waste Water Works for the flushing of toilets, the running of a slim line water chilled HVAC system as well as irrigation.
Both buildings are made up of two sections linked via an atrium of more than 8m in width that is covered by a steel structure and opaque roof allowing in plenty of natural light.
“In a time where building operational costs increase annually, smart design should be at the forefront of conceptualising commercial development. Sable Park is a good example of this. Where the envelope is carefully considered to maximise good daylight and energy performance. This has two predominant benefits, an increased used-comfort experience and potentially lowering operational costs.
“A few strategies are considered to achieve this, daylight sensors are installed to switch off the light in areas where optimal daylight is achieved, and users can function without need of artificial light. Occupancy sensors are used to switch off lights in areas where there are no occupants, as we know people tend to forget. An intelligent HVAC system is used to maintain ambient internal temperature based on the outdoor temperate. These are some of the few features that make Sable Park stand out and be a good addition to the Century City building by Rabie,” Hempe shares.
Originally dubbed the “macro-chip shuffle”, the buildings’ composition was inspired by shuffling forms that operate independently and adapt to their immediate surroundings. The development was intentionally designed to appear as a single large complex, and simultaneously as four small independent volumes, depending on where it is viewed from.
The four volumes are further broken down into thirds – a double height layered mass and a single height crystalline cube. Each of these thirds shift and jump on the horizontal and vertical plain to achieve maximum views and optimal orientation. A large part of the buildings’ concept was manifested in its structure, creating distinct floating boxes that veer off and cantilever beyond one another.
The buildings comprise a concrete backbone and glass and aluminium façade cladding with a massive offset concrete cube that is both functional and attractive. dhk lead architect on the project at the time, Henry Abosi, says, “On an abstract level, the spaces are duplicated, and the volumes are inverted. This simple application was the singular method to the complexity of the resultant macro-articulation which forms a setting for a series of tableaux with an iconic mountain backdrop. In effect, this complex was set out in scenes that take inspiration from aspects of cinematography and film.”
In accordance with the shifting floor plates, two systems of glazed façade have been installed over the three levels of office. A deliberate, yet playful interchange of these systems contribute to the aesthetic complexity of the building.
Internally, the buildings have two wings with a central core and the full height atrium bringing light into the centre of the expansive floor plates. The wings are connected by a series of bridges spanning across the atrium at the edge of the main core. The core is a stand-alone element which is exposed on both sides of the building. From the rear, this concrete cube protrudes and is visible from over a kilometre away. It forms the proverbial “heart” of the building, circulating people left to right, up and down and into different chambers of the building.
Each building encloses a landscaped courtyard, bringing nature into the very fabric of the buildings and provides outdoor breakaway places for staff. On the upper levels, a wrap-around terrace takes advantage of the buildings’ prime position – providing additional outdoor spaces for the offices located on this level.
Sable Park forms part of a collection of buildings along Sable Road in the Bridgeways precinct, all designed by dhk Architects. Axis, a luxury apartment building forms one book-end, with Sable Corner at the other end and Sable Park in the middle. Sable Corner has also recently received its 4-star Green Star – Office v1.1 Design certification.
Yogesh Gooljad, a director and partner at PJC & Partners, who was directly involved in the project and who is passionate about data-driven, performance-based, human-centric design in the built environment, had this to say about the project: “Sable Park is an example of how commercial spaces can also be spaces with a focus on energy efficiency, health and wellbeing. The floor-to-ceiling glazing creates an abundance of natural light throughout the day that contributes to a sense of well being amongst the occupants and visitors. The design was carefully crafted by the project team to ensure that the impact of the glazing and façade was balanced between natural light, glare mitigation, solar performance, and energy efficiency.
“As part of the greater Bridgeways Precinct, water conservative initiatives are intrinsic to the design with a focus on integration of services that include rainwater harvesting, reclaimed water for toilet flushing, water efficient fittings, HVAC cooling towers water recapture, indigenous waterwise landscaping and treated effluent water re-use from a nearby wastewater treatment plant serving the precinct.”