Kitchen Classics are one of the largest and most sort after upmarket Kitchen and Cupboard Shopfitters in Durban. They were renting a building in the same Estate but the in was to small and lacked the identity they sort. The Companies order book was increasing and they wanted a building which could convey the contemporary image of the companies product, which they could have hand in the design, rent and eventually own. Kevin had just completed the design of the factory across the road and the owner was also the owner of most of the land in the Estate. He was keen to develop the property for Kitchen Classics on the basis of a rent with option to purchase in time.
The Light Industrial park was part of the Developer Tongaat Hullett Properties, Mount Edgecombe Estates development. It was on the western side, closest to other larger industrial buildings developed earlier by Tongaat Hullett. The whole area was controlled by a town planning scheme which had specific architectural theme guidelines. The Mount Edgecombe area was following the style know as Natal Verandah Style. Red Brick, green double pitch roofs, large overhangs or wrap around verandahs, and white filigree.
The site had a slight slope across both sections through the site. There were no trees and clay soil was moist with underground water present.
The park has a single entrance and spine road with a cul de sac at the end. Security monitor traffic in and out. The Estate has access to the main arterial road system in Durban a short distance away.
The building was to comply to the Mount Edgecombe Architectural Style.
The Tenant required a building which could house:
- Showroom for kitchen samples which was also the reception, function space and client interview area. Public access had to be wheel chair accessible and client parking with immediate access
- Client toilet facility
- Kitchen for functions
- Staircase access to staff parking in basement and to the first floor management area
- Management offices above with a boardroom, staff toilets and staff kitchen. Management offices with view into the manufacturing area
- Column free double volume space for , material receiving/storage, manufacturing, finished product storage and loading to dispatch areas with dedicated roller shutter doors. Specialised rooms for spray painting and paint drying with extraction form part of this space. Staff change rooms, kitchen, canteen on a mezzanine floor above factory floor were required. Outside of the building a separate structure to house paint storage, waste and other products was required.
- Delivery both in and out were important requirements with covered openings to the factory area.
The site was to be developed to its maximum potential.
The build period was 14 months.
The contractor was met with challenges with very clayey damp soil which made the basement construction slow with its shuttered concrete retaining walls Thereafter the framed concrete structure with infill brickwork and steel trusses followed with minimum mishap.
The Contractor was required to fix his handover date as the tenants move from the old premises to the new had to be done in the shortest possible time to reduce loss of production and disruption in the delivery of produce to Clients projects.
The Project Team was:
- Principal Agent / Architect – Kevin Lloyd architects
- QS – Letchmaih Daya Madindi
- Engineer – DEC Engineers
- Contractor Lenmin Construction
The building today continues to function well and the business is thriving.
Parking and storage where an important determinate in the design. A full site area basement was part of the solution which exceeded the parking requirement but allowed storage of the completed product as the industry is often required to store finished goods with delays in the buildings being not ready for the installation. A hoist could be used to move materials from ground to the basement. The sloping site and raising the ground floor made the basement accessible off the road easier
The Building had to portray a contemporary look and “entice” customers into the showroom area on the ground floor. The showroom needed to have light and space. These were achieved with two large, two storey shop fronts each side of the centrally placed entrance door. Thin section balu slatted shutters help shade the shop fronts and present an appropriate scale, material and element to the front of a building of this use.
The Building is a factory height and scale but the screens in front and stepped raised approach gives a more office look. Once inside the entire width of the ground floor is used for showroom with floating stair against a “off shutter concrete” wall lead up to the administration on the first floor. The floor is finished in 2000 x 1000 stone lookalike tiles.
Behind the concrete wall is the double storey exposed steel truss factory area with glass box mezzanine for factory supervision and a staff washroom/canteen facility atop the specialist painting facilities. Access through floor to ceiling roller shutter doors with canopy over is provided on three sides. A hoist provides access to the basement are for storage.
Externally a red facebrick plinth and painted walls above with large overhang double pitch green sheeted roof comply with the Estate Architectural Guidelines.