Grit and Gold

lifestyle interior photography

In the Hub of Intelligence

Introducing a dazzling new head office spanning over 3 000 m², experts in experiential design HK Studio dreamed up a space that marries functionality and narrative. Renowned for its prowess in office design and fit-out, Trend Group joined in collaboration to introduce this dynamic space in Rosebank’s emerging Oxford Parks precinct for an international management consultant.

This collaborative effort aimed to go beyond conventional office design, seamlessly integrating corporate functionality with a captivating narrative that mirrors the dynamic essence of Johannesburg. The layout, intricately devised to accommodate flexible solutions, aligns seamlessly with the everevolving demands of a hybrid work model.

The project commenced with a compelling directive: create an office space that exceeded expectations, transforming it into more than just a place of work, providing comfort and convenience that would be unmatched by home setups. The brief redefined the concept of the modern office post-pandemic, necessitating a fresh perspective on returning to physical workplaces in an era marked by uncertainty.

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Inspiration for the design narrative draws deeply from Johannesburg’s history, founded on ambition and the allure of gold. The journey through the office itself is an unfolding experience, drawing from the essence of luxury and retail spaces and with an emphasis on thoughtful choices. It begins with a deeply sophisticated entry that exudes gravitas, featuring a neutral base palette and mining imagery, embellished with brass details. It anchors the image of the city in one’s mind as a landmark, a place of dynamism and hard work. Progressing through the space, surprise elements and exoticism are gradually revealed through various design choices such as the wallpaper, furniture, and artwork, creating an unfolding adventure and a sense of curiosity.

To maintain global consistency while preserving local identity, certain elements such as desks and carpets were imported. However, the project team prioritised local sourcing, with approximately 80 % of furnishings and fittings crafted locally, showcasing the best of African design through meticulous detail. Collaboration with local artists, furniture makers, and galleries resulted in unique furniture pieces and artworks, with contributions from Johannesburg-based artists like Justin Dingwall and Seth Pimentel.

Jacaranda Phone Booth HR
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The central staircase in the entrance area is a masterpiece in metal and wood with a tree at the centre, symbolising the grit and gold of the city, as well as the fusion of African and global excellence. Similarly, the bench in the adjacent double-volume area creates a beautiful and interesting conversation piece. The result is an utterly bespoke space that is reflective of both the company and the city’s identities.

The design, born from thoughtful collaboration and research, celebrates ambition, authenticity, and inclusivity while showcasing excellence. It strikes a balance between being strong and serious, and infused with a touch of playfulness, the result is a space that meets the practical and personal well-being needs of an inspired corporate environment.

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