8 Merchant Place is the latest addition in a 30-year history of intervention on the Merchant Place site, situated at the corner of Rivonia Road and Fredman Drive in Sandton, Johannesburg. Boogertman +Partners changed the Sandton skyline in the late ’90s when 1 Merchant Place, an 18 storey tower was completed, and have been engaged since then with Rand Merchant Bank and Eris Property group as the campus has grown and expanded over the subsequent years.

At its core it is a building that ensures that the surrounding campus is utilised to its maximum efficiency by pulling non-core functions out of these and rearranging them into one space.

The new building is a relatively modest architectural insertion size wise, but will be experientially significant in the day to day activities of staff and visitors. The structure will house a staff wellness centre, a restaurant and core retail facilites on the ground floor. A staff gym on the first floor. A staff creche on the second floor and an open entertainment and exercise level on the roof of the building.

This complex brief is “poured” into the piazza that sits between the RMB buildings and the neighbouring Investec head office. The building expresses itself as a series of undulating horizontal planes that hover over the piazza space, with clear glazing between, to ensure maximum light penetration into the new spaces. A distinctively reactive architectural language has been developed that sinuously fills the space while using the existing structural grid from the existing parking basement below. The new structure purposefully contrasts the architecture that is there, its curvatious shape opening new spatial opportunities between itself and the existing built form.

On the ground floor, the building splits into two portions, one half housing the bulk of the retail and restaurant, the other the wellness centre. The space between these two portions become a covered outside eating area for the restaurant and allows access through into the campus from the Investec building, thus tying the two corporates together. Entry to the floors above is through one access-controlled lobby to the lift and stair core.

On first floor, and part of second floor, the gym is located. On the lower level, the free weights area occupies a large open volume with views on all sides and connects to the changerooms and ablutions. On the upper level are studios that open onto an external deck.

Second floor houses the new creche. This facility opens onto a secure open-air playground that is only accessible directly from the creche. Babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers will all be accommodated, space has its own small kitchen and laundry area.

The Third floor accommodates an outdoor entertainment area that is supported by and events kitchen, allowing functions of various sizes. There is also an outdoor running track that connects to the gym via the fire stairs for staff wanting to exercise in the fresh air.

The overall finishes that underscore the free form are clear glazing, pearlescent white aluminium cladding to the triangular slab edges that swoop around the building, offset with Tyrolienne plaster to the minimal solid panels.

Given the building sits as an extension to the RMB Think space, which is a publically accessible art precinct, the underside of all the external ceilings have been conceived as a 6th elevation and will receive an artwork printed onto ceiling panels and thus extending the art precinct into the building.

Developer Eris Property Group
Appointed 2019
Completion 2021
Capacity 3500sqm
Project Managers Metrum Project Managers
Quantity Surveyors Vusela Quantity Surveyors
Structural Engineer Aurecon
Electrical Engineer Claasen Auret
HVAC Adaptive Resource Engineers
Fire & Security Chimera