Array ( [page_title] => Senmin International Office and Technical Centre [curr_path] => )

Senmin International Office and Technical Centre

  • Company Name: Osmond Lange Architects and Planners
  • Project Name: Senmin International Office and Technical Centre
  • Project Size: 2 580m2
  • Project Date: June 2015
  • Project Location: Corner Bergius and Henry Street Sasolburg
  • Project Type: Commercial Offices and Laboratories
  • ArchiCAD Project Type: Teamwork
  • ArchiCAD Version Started: ArchiCAD 17
  • ArchiCAD Version Ended: ArchiCAD 18

General Project Description

The brief and accommodation schedule, developed in close cooperation with Senmin’s management, results in approximately 2580 m2 of space. This project could be approached with a Two buildings solution or it could be integrated into one structure. Let’s look at the parts. The Technical Centre is a controlled environment with restricted access but it needs to be featured internally to allow visitors a glimpse into Senmin’s technical capabilities. By the nature of its functions, fit out, equipment and services, it is a rectangular building. In addition to the laboratory space there is a net office component of 120m2 to accommodate the TC staff while they are not preforming laboratory duties. The Office component evolved over months of consideration on the part of Senmin’s leadership from a newer, bigger and better version of their current cellular offices setup into a flexible workplace capable of supporting and fostering collaboration and communication by offering constant opportunities for staff interaction, both planned and spontaneous through the provision of open plans and a mix of formal and informal meeting spaces. The need to introduce a public and marketing role to the building not only adds additional requirements of access, facilities and quality, but it brings the two primary functions closer together and points to a single building as being the most appropriate solution.

This proposal combines two building forms, each appropriate for its function into one structure that clearly expressed the difference between the two parts. More importantly the building is anchored on one simple powerful idea: A central courtyard around which the office space develops and revolves in an open, continuous and flexible environment. An Oasis protected from the harsh Sasolburg environment. A green lung in the heart of the building. It is defined by an elliptical cut out of the roof slab to maximize the north and south aspect and reduce the east and west exposure. The courtyard is brought close to the entrance to welcome visitors and draw them into it . Its enclosed by a continuous chamfered rectangular glazed wall that is only interrupted by the shell of the TC staff meeting room (recycled boiler tank) It is difficult to overstate the value and importance of the courtyard.

How many people worked on the project?

  • Design Architect: Victor Utria
  • Architect: David Borchardt
  • Senior Architectural Technologist: Jessie Verster
  • Junior Architectural Technologist: Kinolitha Vesi

Architectural Work Phases:

Design and Technical documentation for all 6 stages of the project.

What other software was involved in developing this project?

  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Microsoft Power Point
  • Microsoft Excel

Why was the decision made to switch or further develop the project to ArchiCAD?

We are an ArchiCAD based architectural firm and use ArchiCAD to 3D document every process of the design. ArchiCAD’s Teamwork function makes it very simple to have multiple users on a single file. The 3D model information can be scheduled with accurate values for costing and ordering purposes.

What consultants were involved in the project and what software platform did they use?

Electrical Engineer: Claassen Auret Inc. Consulting Electrical and Electronic Engineers: AutoCAD 2D
Structural and Civil Engineers: ConsulTauri Design (Pty) Ltd: AutoCAD 2D and Revit Structure 3D
Mechanical Engineers: WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff: AutoCAD 2D and Revit Mechanical 3D
Fire and Wet Services engineers: Ingplan Consulting Engineers: AutoCAD 2D

What teams were involved in the project?

  • Design Team
  • Documentation Team
  • Presentation Team

What ArchiCAD tools were used to design the project?

  • Mesh for site
  • Morph of complex forms
  • Sun Study for Solar shading analysis
  • Line, Fills, text, Walls, doors and windows for technical documentation
  • Schedules for Door + Window schedule, Sanitary Schedule and finishing schedules

What would you change or do better next time?

We should have split the Model and Layout book into separate PLN files from the beginning of the project

Project notes or comments

Splitting the Model and Layout book into separate PLN files made the file lighter and faster to work in. Publishing PMK files from the Model PLN and placing them into the Layout Book PLN allowed us to manage the publication of information.

Project file examples