A new project from Inhouse Brand Architects saw them transform an empty shell into a striking new office with a focus on high-communication for advertising agency 99c on Cape Town’s eastern foreshore.
Inhouse approached the design process with several key goals: to enhance the already spectacular views of the top three levels of the Atlantic Centre, to create a fully-functioning space for the business’s daily needs, and to reflect the creative nature of the agency and its employees.
Before starting any design work, an extensive study into the company’s daily activities was undertaken. In the final design Inhouse has allowed for all types of interaction and both “high-focus” and “high-communication” zones. High-focus zones were defined as individual desks where interaction with others would be minimized. High-communication zones were defined as spaces that would encourage and allow for teamwork, interaction and collaboration. This was achieved through a number of “campsites” which are collaborative, shared spaces. A series of semi-private pods and high-energy meeting spaces were created throughout the space to allow employees to interact freely.
According to Inhouse Creative Director Aidan Hart, one of the problems with corporate office space is level-by-level stagnation where departments are divided into operational silos that foster an “us and them” mentality. To achieve greater connectivity for the 99c team, Inhouse cut a hole in the existing concrete slab between the 8th and 9th floors (where the mezzanine level is located) and inserted a new stairwell. The boardroom was intentionally placed on the 8th floor away from the 9th floor reception and lounge ares to force movement between the floors.
Taking advantage of this double-volume span, Inhouse installed 6 large trees around which café tables were structurally laid out. In addition to the trees, numerous living walls were placed throughout the space to link it to the natural environment.