Knightsbridge Office Park in Johannesburg, South Africa, takes the traditional notion of an office park and breathes new life into it for a contemporary way of working and living, where collaboration, innovation and well being are emphasised.
Designed by Boogertman and Partners, the Knightsbridge Park explores the relationship between the built environment, nature and the user, striving to create a corporate office environment rooted in ecological principles. The idea was to emphasise the spaces between the buildings rather than the buildings themselves. Designed to stimulate social interaction between inhabitants, the precinct has a running track that threads its way through the urban forest with casual exercise, outdoor pause and seating areas.
The original office development on the site included a number of mature trees, which were salvaged and transplanted along the periphery of the development. Not only does this treed border provide a visual and acoustic barrier, enhancing the tranquillity of the environment, but because the trees are already mature, they impart a sense of character to the surroundings. The close relationship between the building and the natural surroundings creates a rapport with the landscape and sensory experience that fosters well being.
The gardens are designed to improve the ecology and encourage biodiversity, but it is important to note that the fact that the landscape is designed to be useful to people not only improves the urban ecosystem but also ensures its sustainability. Once completed all seven office buildings will overlook the central park facility, which provides a shared restaurant, boardroom, entertainment space and various other outdoor office facilities. The central park is seen as the heart of the development and emanates from Biophilic design principles, which explore the amalgamation of nature with the built environment. This is evident in the form giving and planted roof of the facility.
The new Knightsbridge is a P-grade, resource-efficient and green-rated office complex and the entire office park is designed to achieve a Green Building Council South Africa 4-Star Green Star rating. By applying innovative technology and design methodologies the buildings carbon footprint is minimised. The interiors within the office park feature standby generators and back-up water supply which is complemented by resource-efficient state-of-the-art mechanical and electrical installations including a chilled water system, lighting sensors, access control and CCTV