The 30 Jellicoe office block was designed by Paragon Architects in Rosebank, a suburb of Johannesburg.
The entire building sits on a landscape platform that is elevated above street level and adorned with numerous trees and plants. An integrated section below is used for parking. The idea was to create a space that was welcoming, but also a filter between indoors and outdoors.
The structure is primarily of steel and glass, with planning to ensure it catered for the local climate and surrounds, characterised by being sub-tropical but 1,750 m above sea level. The eastern and western façades are protected by vertical steel louvres supported by a series of tapering columns. On the northern side, a deep horizontal sunscreen provides protection from the burning sun. On this side, overlooking the street, the glazed envelope also “gives way” to a giant feature wall covered entirely in thin porcelain slabs manufactured by Laminam. This addition is central to boosting energy performance and interior comfort.
This large white porcelain-clad wall is marked by four horizontal windows and, given its solid appearance, contrasts with the transparency of the other façades.
The porcelain slabs are from the Collection series (Bianco Lucidato, 1000x3000x5 mm) and were placed sideways. Precision placement of the various elements meant the height of the ribbon windows perfectly matches the layout of these slabs, creating a very sharp, clean look. The design makes careful use of different volumes and materials to create a bright, dynamic appearance from the outside, while also guiding the views from the inside out onto the lush green surrounding suburbs.