A Boeing 737 could be suspended in the west atrium of 1 Discovery Place – the new Sandton headquarters of the health, life and short-term insurance provider Discovery – without it touching sides. Among the many statistics about the impressive building, this one seems to stick in everyone’s mind. Early publicity said it was "the largest single-phase commercial office development in Africa". It was also the largest new building to receive a five-star rating from the Green Building Council SA. It has 4km of aluminium balustrades, 4,500 LED downlights and 50,000m² of tiling. The choice of a passenger jet to illustrate the size of the atrium articulates one of the major challenges that the architects, Boogertman + Partners, had to face when designing a building of this scale: objects and terms that dwarf humanity express characteristics of the building, but the real challenge is how to make it human. At its simplest, the architects’ task was to design a building that would enable Discove...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now