When Discovery, one of South Africa’s largest health insurance and financial service providers, decided to consolidate its workforce into one location, its leaders wanted an office that embodied its brand, purpose and ambition.
Today, the 112,000 sqm Discovery Place in Sandton Central not only supports the creativity, connection, health and wellbeing of 5,000-plus workers. It has also sparked new conversations about how sustainability and wellness can be delivered at scale.
One of the largest office buildings in Africa, Discovery Place features three linked towers over nine office levels and nine basement floors, with office space, conference and wellness facilities, as well as a data centre with Tier-3 clearance. The combined gross floor area of phases one and two is approximately 150,000 sqm – an enormous 18 rugby fields.
Bringing imagination to life
Rudolf Pienaar, owner Growthpoint’s Chief Development and Investment Officer, has hailed the delivery of Discovery Place as a “marathon rather than a sprint” – and that meant turning to experienced professionals with a strong track-record bringing imagination to life. RLB has proudly played our part in the development of Johannesburg for more than two decades, and we now have a team of 94 professionals offering fresh perspectives and flawless execution throughout South Africa.
“A landmark project like Discovery Place challenges everyone to push the boundaries of best practice. A building that demanded innovative thinking during construction now inspires people to think and work differently every day.”Frans de Jager, Director, RLB
With a team working at the intersection of global and local knowledge, RLB had the expertise and experience to deliver a building that fosters collaboration, creativity and growth.
Taking ambitious projects from idea to reality
Designed by Boogertman + Partners Architects, employee health and wellbeing are at the heart of Discovery Place. A fully-equipped gym, running track and yoga deck, soccer arena and putt-putt golf course, all set in an indigenous landscaped roof garden, encourage Discovery’s people to maintain healthy work life balance.
With its unmistakable fluid and futuristic façade, the building draws in light to balance comfort with energy efficiency.
A green wall that spans six floors and a series of sunlit atria – the largest expansive enough to house a Boeing 737 – are just two symbols of a building that prioritises indoor environment quality. Meanwhile, state-of-the-art technology drives down energy and water consumption. In late 2017, Discovery Place became the largest new build to achieve a 5 Star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa.
(US$160 million) project
gross floor area
Green Star rating
A better tomorrow through flawless execution today
Our experienced construction cost estimators drew on a large, comprehensive library of cost data to find solutions to Discovery Place’s complex construction challenges. From the earliest stage of the project, we explored multiple scenarios, pinpointed the most cost-effective options, and identified and resolved discrepancies. The result? A building that combines aesthetics, sustainability, agile workspace, functionality and cost-effectiveness.
The best results come from the best people
Working with a complex design brief and innovative materials, RLB’s project team maintained a laser-focus on costs and scheduling. While the ultimate measure of success is often being ‘on time and on budget’, Discovery Place reminds us we are not just delivering a building – we are creating a better tomorrow for thousands of people.