Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Headquarters
A shortlisted proposal for the new headquarters for SKA, the intention was to accommodate all equipment and consolidate all divisions in one building, while communicating a strong corporate brand on a site that is highly visible from the N2 highway towards the airport in Cape Town.
To maximise the use of a site restricted by sensitive ecological considerations, a triangular building was designed with deep floor plates, and a central vertical atrium punching through the floors to introduce natural light and ventilation into the internal office spaces. This, together with a high percentage of views to the exterior, contributes towards user health and productivity. The intention is to pursue a 5-Star Green Star SA certification.
The lower ground floor is fully glazed and as transparent as possible. This level is envisaged as the public component of the building; while the more solid upper levels will accommodate more private functions, including an auditorium on the top floor, and meeting and training rooms. Two central skylights bring light into the central atrium all the way to the ground floor, with bridges linking from the vertical circulation cores to the various floorplates. A roof garden overlooks the green public space to the north of the building. The building is partially cladded in Corten Steel cladding to give it a rustic appearance and to address issues associated with the coastal climate such as corrosion.