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Lights are on in the PWC Tower

Category Property News

Lights are on in the PWC Tower

Motorists who drive along the N1 between Joburg and Pretoria at night will now see lights shining on almost every floor of the impressive Price Waterhouse Cooper tower that flanks the Mall of Africa in Midrand. That must mean it is almost finished, right? We got details of the final countdown from Atterbury’s tenant coordinator Martie Marais, and architectural director Warren Stanley, from LYT Architecture, the design brains behind this innovative building.

Explain to us what we are seeing – is everything on schedule to be ready as planned?
Everything is on schedule and PwC will trade formally from 1 February 2018. The façade is nearing completion and it is culminating in the cladding of the top beam that crowns the elegant and simple building geometry. Right now the interior finishes, the restaurant operations and landscaping are in the process of getting final touches. As for those lights that you see when you drive past at night, they illuminate a hive of activity that goes on, almost round the clock! Building the structure was a mammoth task, but completing the final details is another whole elephant that is being eaten bit by bit, one spoonful at a time!

What have been the particular challenges on site in the year since we last spoke to the contractors? Has the unusual height of the building presented any construction issues?
The challenges of a high-rise building occupied the contractor and designers up until now, but the height now presents other challenges for the installation of the fixtures, furniture and equipment. Since the project started three years ago the contractors used a single hoist 24 hours a day to transport material up and refuse out of the building. The hoist had to be removed since to complete the building and the builders now have to manually transport everything into the building. The furniture will be delivered via a lift, but careful planning and scheduling will be required to get the task done. Meanwhile the contractor who is tasked with fixing any building defects will only have stair access, all the way to the 25th floor.

Have there been particular learnings and problems solved during the construction of the tower that the contractors would take away from this project?
Synchronising the handover was a true challenge! The sequencing for handover and the construction programme does not align, so we had to amend the programme several times – now the building is being handed over section by section as these are completed. Changes requested by the client were managed with a positive attitude from both the contractor and the professional team. The nature of a tower suits itself to a sequence of phased handovers. By managing this process strictly, the team is able to focus on quality in smaller segments, which is working really well to ensure high quality of the final results.

Is it still too early to ask about the interior of the building, in terms of what is envisaged design- and décor wise? We imagine a really impactful interior to match the groundbreaking exterior.
The interior design and architecture was designed by DSGN in accordance with PwC’s international corporate identity and ethos. To a large degree this is still a secret and you will have to tune into the next issue for the news on this! The design aesthetic is of a clean, modern building with efficient use of materials for maximum effect. What you see is a strong, simple, impactful shape, which results from the internal programme and orientation requirements. Without giving too much away, the interior spaces are interesting, due to the architectural volumes that are created where pure, yet structurally sophisticated, geometries are expressed. The connecting central atrium in particular offers a multi-layered visual experience…

How is the interior being outfitted floor by floor? Starting at the bottom? How long will that take?
The interior fit-out was indeed done floor by floor, over a period of 20 months. We started as far back as May 2016 with the installation of the interior finishes. And yes, it was started at the bottom working upwards, in the same way construction happens. That said, there is more detail at the ground level so that is actually the last part to be finished as the grand finale to the whole project. Keep watching this space!

Author: Atterbury Property Holdings

Submitted 28 Aug 17 / Views 887