Trend Group delivers purpose-built new headquarters for Oracle SA

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One of Trend Group’s most prestigious projects to date has been the new headquarters for Oracle South Africa in Woodmead Office Park. The brief was to deliver a purpose-built new building that rationalised the enterprise giant’s operational requirements by implementing a dynamic global strategy optimising its space usage.

Trend Group worked closely with Oracle to ensure that a local artistic and cultural flair was incorporated into the interior design of the new building. The fit-out had to create a sense of culture among the staff in the workspace, embedding the brand, and contextualising the company’s identity in the space in order to allow employees to be flexible in the way they wished to work. Global desk utilisation studies carried out by Oracle were used in this regard to ensure that the operational requirements were met.

“Oracle wanted to create an innovative space for its employees, modernising the workplace and the manner in which its teams’ collaborated, so as to ensure they continued to thrive in a highly-competitive marketplace. Hence a major focus was to create an engaging workplace that not only attracts, but retains, talented individuals,” Trend Group Senior Designer Dorethe Swiegers explains.

The building covers 4 289.7 m2 over three floors, with basement parking, and a customer-facing ground floor with business lounge and reception, as well as a staff restaurant. Other features of the fit-out include a demonstration room for training and product showcases for potential customers.

The process of engaging with the client to design the interior space, and setting out the overall vision, began in June 2018. Earthworks commenced in January 2018, with the main contractor on-site on 15 March 2018.

Oracle partnered with one of South Africa’s largest property development companies, Zenprop Property Holdings, to undertake the delivery of a strategic joint programme, constructing the base build and interior fit-out works simultaneously to expedite the project completion. This called for a highly-integrated project and intuitive collaboration between the entire professional team, including Archstone Construction as the main contractor.

The building envelope was designed Empowered Spaces Architects, while Emma Ogazuma, Oracle Architect, and the regional team of Morena Rakometsi, Facilities Project Manager, and Alice Matee, Facilities Manager, monitored standards and facilitated stakeholder sign-off for and on behalf of Oracle. Project manager @Hart Property development oversaw the progress and works, ensuring quality standards were maintained at all times, and to assist with any project issues.

Key to the success of the project was to understand Oracle’s requirements from the get-go, which then allowed Trend Group to manage its client’s expectations throughout the entire process, from foundations to final finishing touches. In terms of localisation, Oracle’s corporate colour palette was used for the main visual identity, with the colours of the South African flag were introduced to contextualise the project in its African setting.

Oracle itself has global agreements with an array of suppliers that it deploys on all of its projects, which meant that many elements were sourced internationally and locally from a range of suppliers, namely Steelcase, Herman miller, Boss design, Orange box, Humanscale, Sinuous Lines Design, M and F, and Corporate Connection.

Bolon, a Swedish leader in woven vinyl flooring with all the requisite environmental credibility, was employed for the restaurant flooring, consisting of tiles made from commercial-grade recycled PVC ideal for high-traffic areas.

The back wall of the reception desk features another key design element, a bespoke 3D printed concrete tile imported from KAZA Concrete of Budapest to add a subtle hint of texture and sophistication. All the furniture was imported as per the client’s international standards, with the exception of the restaurant.

Here Trend Group advocated a celebration of local talent and design. It sourced furniture from top local talent such as Dokter and Missus, Houtlander, Widd Design, Pedersen and Lennard, etc. A local beaded pendant and a once-off Renee Rossouw wallpaper design that is really exceptional were also featured.

Swiegers concludes that the ultimate success of the project was due to the cohesion between the entire professional team, and its responsiveness and resultant creativity in both meetings, and adapting to, the client brief. “From a specification point of view, it was critical that we had to meet international standards.”