De Beers Corporate Headquarters

Project Details

  • City: Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Year: 2004
  • Client: De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd
  • Value: R86 million
  • Discipline: Architecture
  • Sector: Retail and commercial

The De Beers Headquarters and Support Services Unit, designed by GAPP in association with Van der Merwe Miszewski Architects and Lucien le Grange Architects & Urban Planners, represents the cutting-edge in corporate architecture in South Africa. It provides a coherent and well-executed solution to the challenge of bringing together previously dispersed operational functions at the De Beers campus and responding sensitively to an established business environment.

While the building meets international standards in corporate architecture, it is also strongly grounded on the Highveld, responding climatically as well as in terms of its landscaping to its context.

The central philosophy behind the building’s design was to ensure the integration of the new development into the current De Beers campus and overall urban context. The project was driven by the need to establish a global centre of excellence for the mining and exploration activities of De Beers. The SSU (the new building, adjacent to the existing HQ) does not exist as a separate business unit but is interwoven with the elements that make up the CHQ grouping.

The height of the building was determined in relation to the height of De Beers House. The overall architectural expression, in both elevation and plan, comprises three parts, echoing De Beers House.

Water, essential to the diamond mining process, is contained in shallow troughs at the east and west ends of the atrium. Small black rectangles of granite, representing diamond yielding ore, are integrated into the floor tiling pattern.

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