NAUDES OFFICE BUILDING
Firmly set at the culmination of Markgraaff Street, a new institutional boulevard that has taken over from President Brand Street that served this function in the 19th and 20th centuries, the towering Naudes building serves as custodian, successfully strengthening the institutional character of this street, similarly to the Arc de Triomf in Avenue Champs Élysées,Paris. Relaxation of the building heights was approved by City Council based on that very argument set forth by us.
As the city intended on lengthening Markgraaff Street, cut-off contributed to the particular form of the building, resulting in the great curved eastern wall. This wall, with its small punctured windows, acts as a buffer against the traffic noise of Markgraaff Street.
The building is U-shaped with northern and southern office wings. The areas that face east and west include consultancy rooms, storage and vaults. A three-storey void runs along the curved wall; giving a special light quality to the main circulation spine.
The corner drum element accommodates the main stair and functions as an urban marker in the city fabric.
One of the most important aspects of the building are the incredible views over the city. The building focuses on the connection that the firm has with the Supreme Court, Deeds office and President Brand Street in general.
The site is restricted in size and care was taken to create two spacious entertainment spaces on the roof to accommodate the 100+ staff number. The boardroom is located on the top floor and connects with one of the entertainment spaces.
The finishes are simple, yet reflect the local vernacular architecture. The exterior consists of red brick panels, sandstone cladding and metal roofs. Internally, sandstone and slate floor tiles define the public areas.
The building serves as the home of Naudes, and as such, must project an image of a firm that embraces the democratic transformation process of the country and that access to the practice of law, must be a more open and accessible process. This notion is supported in the design of the building through the discarding of the closed and sombre atmosphere that is often associated with the law. The design takes cognisance of local conditions such as climate and material but combines it with international ideas regarding spatial planning, program and accommodation.