BP Africa: Corporate Head Office
Joshua CONRAD: Architect
GREEN BY DESIGN: Architect
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The BP Headquarters at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront has been heralded for incorporating a number of Sustainability measures, which include batteries of photovoltaic cells on the roof, dramatic roof lights which serve a dual purpose of admitting light into the building and allowing hot air to escape. It also employs the use of metre-thick facades, to moderate interior/exterior temperature differentials.
The architectural quality of the building is to be found in the arrangement of the interior spaces - light-filled, airy atria which form the major organising elements of the building around which the office spaces are clustered and the more public and semi-public facilities such as coffee bars and meeting rooms are arranged. This hierarchy of spaces is reinforced through the cross-sectional treatment of the building, promoting legibility and transparency and allowing natural light to penetrate from the roof to the lowest levels.
The exterior treatment responds to the Portswood Ridge context in which the building is located and makes use of a restrained palette of robust materials. It is considerably enlivened by the play of light and shadow on the deep recesses of the façade with its balconies, ventilator shafts and sun-baffles.
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