Designed around the concept of the contemporary urban nomad, the OPEN co-working space offers a unique and unexpected interpretation of what a collaborative working space can offer in the Sandton precinct. The paradigm shift in the way people live and work is translated into an architecture supportive of freedom and self-determination through considered design of interior spaces and their relationship with the surrounding precinct. Counter to these spaces yet still innately complimentary, the intervention is grounded in its urban context by embracing the inherent experiences of community interaction afforded by proper city life.
Interior spaces of meetings rooms, offices, co-working areas and seminar rooms offer varied and flexible ways to work and interact whilst an adaptable auditorium space caters for larger events and workshops. A juxtaposition of ground floor café, working spaces and reception embrace street activity and civic life by externalising its use onto the streetscape, offering an alternative to the surrounding context’s vehicular dominated nature and lack of pedestrian friendly thresholds.
The primary route into the building is arranged around a newly constructed central circulation staircase that acts as a counterpoint to the areas of work and a legible central circulation core. The delicate permeable structure filters natural light into interior spaces and offers a platform for vegetation to grow onto. Informed by the ritual of making, this communication space parallels the ideas embodied in the writing of Athol Williams’ Makers—primarily that of embarking on the journey of creation as an individual and the reliance on fellow travellers. This is expressed through the architecture’s tension between confined and expansive spaces along the circulation route and the concept is continued through the placement of various poetry texts along the route into the building, on reception counters, inside VC booths and adjacent to stair ledges.