Current post-pandemic reflection is that many trends that were evolving have been escalated and sped up into becoming a reality. The importance of sustainability has been forefronted and can be expanded into three areas of focus, Environment, Sociability and Flexibility. The design of the Park Lane West building provides increased ventilation and natural light for tenants, prioritizes pedestrian access while encouraging engagement with the Menlyn Maine Precinct and is structured for flexibility accommodating small, and large tenants including a co-working space. While the building was designed in 2018, all three of the above design features are now, post COVID-19, deemed highly desirable attributes for tenants and building owners which is a testament to good design thinking.

Menlyn Maine is a mixed-use precinct located in Waterkloof Glen in the Eastern suburbs of Pretoria. All buildings in the precinct adhere to eight strategic green principles ( Management, Indoor environment quality, Energy, Transport, Water, Materials, Land Use & Ecology, Emissions & Innovation ) The seven-storey Park Lane West design furthers these principles with features that contribute to its GBCSA 4 Star Green Star As-Built rating. It delivers 60% more fresh air than is required of Green Buildings in South Africa and has two air-cooled chiller tanks housed in the basement, an ice-storage tank that is ‘charged’ at night during off-peak hours when electricity is cheaper and provides 50% of the building’s peak energy demand during the day.

Natural light in the interiors is enhanced through the innovative skylight developed by Leaf Structures. The 465sqm skylight yields over 97% transparency through a three-pin beam design that reduced the need for steel beams and won the Skylight Category in the SAISC 2020 Awards.

The staggered window grid and balcony structures ensure that all tenants, up to six per floor, have access to natural light and an outdoor balcony. A shared roof garden developed on top of the building provides further access to fresh air along with incredible views. The integration of the building into the Menlyn Maine Precinct features a distinctive curved façade above the main entrance which provides a welcoming pedestrian experience. It is placed on the green belt in the precinct which serves as one of the main pedestrian access routes in Menlyn Maine to enhance the ‘walkability’ of the precinct and provide a connection to the Menlyn Main retail, health and entertainment facilities.

The structure’s generous volumes and aesthetic place it as a desirable landmark destination for business while the expansive ground floor reception, central, shared atrium, co-working space and restaurant that spills out on to a street-facing planted balcony encourages interaction and relaxation. The landscaping and the balcony soften the urban edge of the building and promote street-level activity.

An impressive cantilevered feature staircase on the northern side of the atrium seamlessly merges with the curves of each floors walkway. It promotes the healthy use of stairs over and above the use of lifts and creates a visual landmark and gesture for corridor connectivity and sociability for the diverse range of tenants. It received a commendation in the 2020 SAISC Awards for its innovative offsite construction and on-site installation.

Park Lane West addresses demand in the commercial market for the flexibility to provide for a multitude of tenants of varying sizes. The versatility of the design places equal importance on access to amenities for all users. The ability to scale usage as a tenant is increased through the development of the co-working space. In this way, the building can accommodate ‘hot-desking’ entrepreneurs, emerging businesses and larger corporates looking for the vibrancy of being in a dynamic, energized environment while providing the opportunity for customized, unique space.

Client & Developer Menlyn Maine Investment Holdings & Barrow Properties(Pty)Ltd
Principal Contractor Barrow Construction (Pty) Ltd
Electrical Engineer RWP Taemane Consulting Engineers
Environmental Consultant LEAP
Green Building Consultant Solid Green Consulting
Quantity Surveyor RLB Pentad Quantity Surveyors
Structural and Civil Engineer WSP, Structures, Africa
Wet Services Consultant WSP,Building Services,Africa
Completed 2020