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Cecilia Architects Offices
Mbombela (Nelspruit), Mpumalanga

CECILIA ARCHITECTS CC (CEA): Architect

Date:2008
Client:Cecilia Architects
Type:Offices
Status:Extant
2009SAIA MP Award for Architecture
Street:11 Wilhelm Street

Award citation
The Cecilia Architects Offices as a redevelopment and refurbishment of a Section under title of the Royco Complex demonstrates architectural refinement and a clever exercise in spacial organisation, optimising the use of every nook and cranny ingeniously. The project showcases to the client the flair of the designer, so acting as billboard for the firm while offering ergonomically efficient accommodation to its personnel. The project is recipient of the MIA Award for Architecture.

Brief
The Roycol Building was originally developed as a sectional title building comprising of residential units and retail space.

Outcome
The company occupied two units on ground level which were connected. A third unit on the first floor level was acquired to accommodate the increased number of staff. To link the two levels an internal staircase was provided in an extended reception space encapsulated by a steel and glass structure. The two project secretaries were kept in their original position and a reception desk was added for the new receptionist.

The ground floor further accommodates the principal architect, books library, boardroom, printing area, kitchen, financial manager's office and lounge.

The upper level was converted to accommodate the drawing studio, reference library, printing area, bathroom and kitchen. Well designed cubicles provide privacy and an organized work space. The studio floor is an industrial rubber floor which is the most practical for the concentrated activities.

The use of colour and attention to detail with industrial elements lend a new image to a previously dull and outdated interior and exterior. Coloured glass panels were introduced and the industrial style enhanced with custom made cable tray light fittings and exposed air conditioning ducts. The existing slate floors were kept in the reception space and previously carpeted areas were replaced with timber floors.

The boardroom speaks construction with the photographic wall paper of a building in progress. The reception area is inviting and colourful with photographic displays of completed projects that portray the company's achievements.

Challenging factors were existing finishes and elements of a building that could only be partially upgraded. The rest of the building is only due for alterations and refurbishment at a later stage.

The daunting custom made entrance door and colourful columns signifies the strength and creativity of Cecilia Architects.

[Cecilia Architects CC, March 2010]


Writings about this entry

South African Institute of Architects. 2010. Awards : South African Institute of Architects. Awards for Excellence, Awards of Merit, Regional Awards for Architecture 2009/2010. Cape Town: Picasso for SAIA. pg 95
MPIA Adjudication Panel Cecilia Architects' Offices: in South African Institute of Architects. 2010. Awards : South African Institute of Architects. Awards for Excellence, Awards of Merit, Regional Awards for Architecture 2009/2010: pp 95