Urban design architecture is about imagining the vision for a city, integrating a district, conceiving a civic square, compiling an urban framework, defining a precinct, creating a masterplan, framing guidelines or writing controls. And as architects in Johannesburg, Co-Arc contributes to the social, cultural, and economic infrastructure of a given locality by creating carefully crafted urban architecture.
Even though Co-Arc operates on an international level, we are also architects in Gauteng, and with that comes the roaring metropolis that is Johannesburg. Co-Arc is intimately aware of the impact that well-designed urban architecture can have on a city, especially in the example of Nelson Mandela Square. The Square has become synonymous with Sandton and is the beating heart of the urban fabric. Without the urban design that went into Nelson Mandela Square, few of the buildings that were constructed around it would have been as successful as they are considered to be now. The design is meant to pull the city into a bustling node of urban socialising, with constant year-round activity, that links together all the urban elements of the mall, the library, hotels and the commercial buildings all around it.
As Johannesburg architects, Co-Arc is very aware of each intervention we make, and how it will affect the urban architecture of the city. This translates to any project we take on because very often the city in question might not be Johannesburg, but it could be in Accra in Ghana, or Cape Town, Dubai or London. The context of the city is always important to us, and the way in which each piece of architecture we make, contributes to the urban fabric of the city is paramount.
Co-Arc Interiors recognises that our designs have an impact on the daily lives of individuals, and that people are deeply affected by the ambience of their environment. Therefore, we seek to create spaces that inherently contribute to the well-being of the occupants.
We understand that catalytic urban interventions are often driven by a private development consortium as a commercial venture, but evolve in ongoing liaison with the local authorities. Co-Arc’s collaborative approach seeks to establish a synergistic relationship between players, ensuring that both public realm and private development benefit.
For centuries, retail environments have been the fora where people meet and interact, the living market spaces that underpin a vibrant society’s economic and social interaction. Co-Arc International understands the physical attributes that encourage the active participation of citizens in the retail environment and are central to the design for a retail project.
Corporate and Offices
Understanding that the working environment is key to performance, Co-Arc has consistently built on a platform of significant expertise and experience in the design and layout of office space, including state-of-the art modern office environments. More than 20 years ago, partners of the firm were recognised as leaders in contemporary approaches to office space design, exploring best practice and introducing concepts that are today confirmed as industry best practice requirements for modern office environments.
For as long as people express the need for face-to-face contact and congregation, educational institutions will remain vital to the cultural requirements of a city. The university is one of the city’s primary institutions, presenting a cogent reason for bringing people together. Congregating for the purpose of education, the diverse citizenry gathers in a place that should be both volatile and static, allowing and promoting change, yet representing stability and permanence.
A hotel is not simply an establishment that provides lodging, meals and occasional entertainment; it is a significant capital investment for the comfort, well-being and delight of customers. Be it trendy, offbeat, elegant, a celebration of local culture, a statement of modern simplicity, a retreat or a landmark, a hotel is characterised by an intimate atmosphere and an idiosyncratic style or distinctive character.
The house often is the safe point from which humankind views the outside world. Designing a house, and even more so, housing, is one of the most profound tasks an architect can engage in. Co-Arc realises that the relationship between people and their homes is critical to their well-being. It is therefore essential to consider the complex relationship between a house and the environment beyond it, enabling the house to facilitate the life of its inhabitants and to reflect their engagement with the world.
In its 50-year history of designing civic buildings, Co-Arc has always sought to distil an essence of place, unique to the nature of a specific institution, in a particular context. The institutions of man reflect the civilization. How we make and treat our civic buildings is critical to the formation of our identity as citizens.
Whether it is a factory, a vehicle showroom, a clinic, golf club or an abattoir, Co-Arc’s approach remains the same. Each project is driven by its particular brief, in its particular context, for a particular client, on a particular site. Driven by the specifics of each, experience and expertise are brought to bear in establishing the parameters for design and additional expertise required.