Growthpoint Properties (JSE: GRT) excelled at the recent SAPOA (South African Property Owners Association) Property Development Awards for Innovative Excellence 2020, taking home six sensational honours, including overall winner, overall sustainability and heritage awards, and three category wins.

Exterior of Exxaro head office in Centurion. Photo by admin

Exterior of Exxaro head office in Centurion. Photo by admin

The SAPOA awards were presented online last week to recognise significant contributions to South Africa’s built environment. The awards consider the quality of a development, its functionality and how it enhances our cities and towns. These winning properties set the bar for excellence and showcase the high standard achieved.

Estienne de Klerk, CEO of Growthpoint Properties SA, comments: “These awards underscore Growthpoint’s ongoing commitment to providing space to thrive with innovative and sustainable solutions. We set our sights on developing properties that enhance our skylines, enable the businesses and people who occupy them, and are positive for the communities around them. We have built the internal development expertise to deliver turnkey developments for the Growthpoint investment portfolio and third-party owners. We believe this gives both our clients and ourselves a competitive advantage. The awards underscore the passion and commitment to excellence of all involved in the winning initiatives. We are proud of what they have achieved and delighted to be recognised for development excellence by SAPOA.”

Overall winner

The ConneXXion, Exxaro’s iconic new headquarters in Centurion, was this year’s big winner. It triumphed with a trio of trophies, including being named the overall winner. The Connexxion is owned and developed by Growthpoint and designed by AMA Architects with sustainability consultant Aurecon.

The 18 500m² head office has a range of features aimed at connecting employees and enhancing their health and well-being while minimising the company’s environmental footprint. The ConneXXion is the first building in Africa to be rated according to the International WELL Building Institute’s Core and Shell Building Standards, which is the first rating system to focus exclusively on the impact of buildings on human health and wellness. It has also received the highest possible rating, a 6-star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council South Africa, and a growing number of awards.

Sustainability and best corporate office development

The ConneXXion was also selected from a total of 37 entries across all categories of the competition to win the Sustainability Award, demonstrating the extent to which it incorporated environmentally sustainable principles in the design and design process. In addition, Exxaro’s headquarters took the title of best corporate office development.

 “We are really pleased about the win by the ConneXXion in these three categories. Our move from the previous building to the ConneXXion was a key driver of our Business Sustainability strategy as well as providing a working environment that would be stimulating for our employees and provide a space for innovating with our stakeholders. This award has really confirmed the merits of our decision to move to the ConneXXion,” said Mongezi Veti, Executive Head – Sustainability at Exxaro.

“Thank you to the Growthpoint team and their associates for the excellent work in bringing this part of our strategy to life”, added Johan Meyer, Executive Heads – Projects, who had oversight for the construction of the building.

Heritage and best refurbishment

32 on Kloof in Cape Town also delivered an outstanding performance, taking two titles. It won the Heritage Award, presented to those who give unstintingly of their time and expertise to conserve South Africa’s heritage resources and who have, by example, nurtured and conserved the legacy of their buildings so that they may be bequeathed to future generations. The project also won the best refurbishment category.

Owned and redeveloped by Growthpoint, 32 on Kloof has undergone a metamorphosis. Originally constructed in 1922 by prominent architecture firm Parker & Forsyth for the United Tobacco Companies Limited, the building once housed the company’s administration department. Designed by architect DHK with heritage consultant Aikman Associates, Growthpoint’s brief for the heritage project was to establish additional premium rentable space by adding two floors to the existing building and reinventing the windowless basement.

Ultimately, the vision was for 32 on Kloof is to serve as the attractive Kloof Street façade of the Longkloof precinct. This exciting precinct retains all its old charm but has been modernised with fibre, a control room, intelligent parking systems and around 11,000sqm of renovated office space with the introduction of retail and a future hotel making it a truly unique precinct. The architectural response respects the building’s heritage and juxtaposes the existing traditional fabric with a new contemporary addition. By marrying historical and contemporary influences, the building successfully pays homage to our past while looking to the future.

 Best interior development

The SAPOA Interior Award was presented to Growthpoint owned, developed, and project managed, The Base on William Nicol Drive in Bryanston. After reviewing their real estate needs, GroupM and Kantar elected to relocate 670 employees from eight agencies at four premises into a single 6,500sqm base. Designed by AMA Architects and Nero, The Base boasts four café areas, a restaurant, 22 state-of-the-art meeting rooms, a staff entertainment centre, a double-volume town hall area and an ultramodern client experience centre.

On a strategic level, The Base is designed to facilitate smarter client solutions through cross-collaboration. The consolidation of the combined companies achieves the global workplace standards of the WPP group, competitive and stable occupancy costs, and combines companies’ images and brand.

“We really feel that The Base is a commercial asset for us, and the level of engagement with clients at our offices has increased dramatically,” says Karin du Chenne, Kantar Africa/Middle East chief growth officer. “Our clients love the space as much as we do.”

Growthpoint makes space to thrive with innovative and sustainable property solutions. It is an international property company invested in real estate and communities across Africa, Australia, the UK and Eastern Europe, and South Africa’s largest primary JSE-listed REIT. Growthpoint is 50% co-owner of the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.