Project name: Eco Park
Location: Ballito, Durban, South Africa
Program: Sustainable offices (green architecture)
Area: Site Area: 8023 m2 • Built-up Area: 3600 m2
Year Design: 2011
Competition Project by Arkus Architects
Design Team: Gareth Nezar, Riaan Van Jaarsveldt
The client wanted to release the potential of the site, which is currently being rezoned to commercial rights. Local architects were to compete by designing and submitting their proposal to the client. The winning architect is awarded the contract.
Located in a gated estate with design regulations is challenging for any architect. Arkus identified key elements from the guidelines and evolved them to suite the scale of the development. Numerous passive design techniques were explored within the building, using the natural vegetation to ground the building to the site. It was of utmost importance to limit the impact of the development on the site, allowing much of the site to remain natural grass land.
Natural stone walls, Double sheeted roof systems with airflow cavities, vegetation walls, vegetation roofs, timber, off shutter concrete and steel portal frame structures provide a rich mix of materials. Vegetation walls were used for insulation purposes and grounding the building to the landscape.
The client needed a flexible office space that could easily be reconfigured offering office space from 50m2 to 3000m2. This was achieved by placing 4 blocks of 600m2 divided by entrance service cores. The space then has the ability to expand or contract as required. The building shape evolved from the site conditions. Double roof systems remove 100% of solar gains. Faceted east facing glass reduces gains on the glass. West facing thermal mass fins absorb heat and stabilize internal temperatures in the office space throughout the year.