Department of
Foreign Affairs

Focus Elements information credits
  • New Building for Department of Foregin Affairs
  • imbumba Aganang D & C (JV)
  • Toni Flavio (Murray & Roberts Construction)
  • TC Design Architects
  • Mark Pencharz
  • Judith Paterson
Interior Design:
  • DSGN design™
  • Mike Eager / Atsushi Hirata

Wall paneling

The walnut acoustic wall cladding was specified by DSGN designTM and supplied by Acoustic Solutions. It was left to us to devise a fixing methodology that would allow for adjustment in the vertical as well as the horizontal plane of the boards, whist at the same time leaving enough void space for the acoustic material to take effect, as well as to provide space for the concealed lighting.

Pivot doors

Judith Paterson’s unique design for the pivot doors that adorn the two entrance lobbies to the conference centre necessitated a different approach to door manufacture. The largest of the doors weighed in at 350kgs proving a challenge to the craftsman that made them. Our installation teams on site, who were so pleased with their ability to fit them they did it twice. Fire consultant insisted that the doors be installed to the opposite of what had been detailed

Copper rings

With having CNC overhead routers as the cornerstone of our wood-working facility meant that the client felt comfortable in asking us to take on this additional component. DSGN designTM sent us their CAD drawing which we took and converted into a format that the CNC machines could understand and two weeks later the timber construction to the three concentric rings was in place, ready for the installation teams to apply the copper laminate.

Solid Core cladding

It was the original intention of the lead architect, Mark Pencharz, to clad the outside of the conference facility with core 10 steel. However with the dramatic rise in the steel price during the contract, alternative and more cost effective materials needed to be employed. Mark settled upon PG Bison’s Solid Core material. The vintage steel paper was printed in Germany and tests run in Cape Town to ensure that PG Bison’s Cape Town plant could laminate it. That being done, all that remained was for us, in conjunction with the façade engineer to agree upon a fixing methodology that took in to account the complex curves of the building. The finished result is no doubt impressive. Additionally, the flower boxes that are present on the northern façade of the building posed an all together more complicated puzzle to solve. The undulations that can now be seen to the soffits of the flower boxes weren’t extant in the naked concrete structure. These curves needed to be created using the aluminium sub-structure for the solid core.

Escalator cladding

Another late addition to our scope of works, and the first escalators we’ve ever been asked to clad. Budgetary attention meant we had to propose a methodology acceptable to the client and that met the design intent of DSGN designTM. Using a combination of melamines and Formicas and having the CNC’s rout the detail into the boards has given a very pleasing overall effect.