Client Citibank required a complete remodelled interior design and MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) professional service, for which AECOM was involved with the phased refurbishment and the consolidation of four floors into two floors, while working and moving within a live office environment, during an eight-month construction period.

The site is in the heart of Sandton, and the project scope was for a refurbished area of 7 500 m². This A-grade office development, owned and managed by Accelerate, is located strategically near key locations such as the neighboring Nelson Mandela Square. It is also within walking distance of the Sandton Gautrain Station and the Sandton Convention Centre.

The client required the design team to implement a full Citiworks project that required the implementation of Citi Global Workplace guidelines, including workplace design guidelines such as the evolution of the workplace, and the use of colour and space-planning principles and considerations.

The design brief and guidelines placed great emphasis on the implementation of new technologies and a collaborative working environment, which resulted in the design of highly-developed spaces equipped with immersive technology for collaboration and work-sharing initiatives.

Other considerations derived from the guidelines was to improve the working environment for staff by means of enforced clean-desk policies, collaborative work sharing, active recycling, and enabling a healthy and conscious implementation of the manner in which all workers utilise the office space.

The client brief also required a Gold LEED rated interior project, which played a large part during the design phase, in terms of the correct material selection and construction methods to be able to achieve a high-end sustainable interior project within the given budget. Materials such as low VO paint and glue, joinery items with low formaldehyde content, and finishes with high green or sustainability ratings were specified for the LEED accreditation.

Other factors such as sustainable LED light fittings, Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI) system implementation for day/night light harvesting, and sustainable mechanical design were also taken into consideration during the design phase for the LEED accreditation. Throughout the floor area, various recycle bins were allocated in terms of the LEED sustainability requirements.

The interior design concept was derived from three key factors, namely simplicity, and being both organic and neutral. The main idea was to create a comfortable, yet urban, office space that is trendy. The use of strong visual patterns and shapes makes the space interesting.

The floor plate is divided into four main quadrants, with each quadrant having its own accent colour, extracted from the Citi Global guidelines, so as to assist with way finding. The four colours – namely aqua, plum, ochre and green – highlighted collaborative working areas as seen in the accent floor inserts and decorative wall panelling. Aqua was used throughout the space, tying all the quadrant colours together. The extensive use of white also emphasised the accent colours, accompanied by the use of warm timbers and fabrics.

AECOM delivered a full BIM (Building Information Model) service to the client, ensuring a clash-free design and construction review before going on-site. Virtual renders were presented to the client, showcasing BIM as the best method to communicate design and construction ideas to the client.