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Boundary Park office block captivates with the contemporary Corobrik Black Brick façade

A Boundary Park warehouse and office block, located within Johannesburg’s North Riding area, is a unique envisioning of the striking elegance that characterises Corobrik’s latest addition to the clay brick range – the Black Brick. The multi-faceted Boundary Park, considered one of the region’s most desirable industrial and business nodes, is the perfect location to showcase the Black Brick’s dramatic result, effectively taking the clay brick from the historical to contemporary realm.
“The use of black bricks gained popularity in various building designs in Europe and America, and there was a call from local architects for this aesthetic from a quality building material,” explained Musa Shangase, Corobrik’s Commercial Director. “The Boundary Park warehouse and office block is one of the first buildings completed in the Black Brick and it shows, so beautifully, how this simple, affordable product can create a structure of breath-taking sophistication and elegance.”
Completed in December 2018, the Storage King warehouse and office block – officially building 2 on stand 208 in Boundary Park – is located on Malibongwe Drive within the secure office park that combines warehouses with AAA-grade office space. Developed by Orpen Brothers Properties and designed by Architects of Justice, the double-storey structure consists of 40 000 Black Bricks on the façade with 180 000 Country Classic Travertine used for the walling.
Dylan Rodrigues, Director of Storage King, described the new Storage King head office as ‘one-of-a-kind’ because of its highly noticeable Black Brick design.
“This design is unique as it is the largest building in South Africa to be built entirely from Corobrik’s black-coloured brick,” said Rodrigues. “The clear sheeting warehouse portion will act as a light box displaying silhouettes of our units at night, giving this new facility a look that stands out from the rest.”
Citing a longstanding relationship with Corobrik, Fabiano Cellini of Orpen Brothers insisted on using Corobrik products for this development.
“From a developers’ point of view, Corobrik’s Black Brick has a timelessness about it, and – being original to the market – we wanted to create something new with their bricks,” said Cellini. “Corobrik’s products are renowned for the low maintenance and superior aesthetics. The company is also committed to skills’ development and community-established workforces to help in construction.”
The double-storey office is attached to a warehouse with the office component shifted off the end of the warehouse to extend the Malibongwe façade. This reveals a translucent end to the warehouse, primed for digital display. The warehouse is also designed for high-level racking, which meant the height pushed the office section several levels higher than is traditionally seen in office parks.
Kuba Granicki from Architects of Justice, explained that, in order to keep the shadow lines and maintain the darkness of the façade, a decision was made to used tile adhesive as the mortar.
“To allow for a striking façade that was built correctly, we simplified the brick bonds and let the material do its own talking,” explained Granicki. “The result is incredibly simple yet striking.”
The captivating aesthetic of the building was a requirement from the client, achieved by the stark brick elevation which contrasts well with the extremely large-angled glass façade and playful entrance design. The plaster and paint effect echo the off-shutter border and accentuate the diagonal glazing – this perspective play makes the entrance look deeper, enhancing the perception of space.
He said that Orpen Brother’s longstanding relationship with South Africa’s top brick manufacturer – and the desire to create a striking yet relatively maintenance-free building – saw the Black Brick as the perfect choice
“The Black Brick lent itself very well to the proportions of the elevation and the simple colour pallet of the building,” said Granicki.
Face brick was used throughout the warehouse and offices, internally and externally. There were also portions of Black Brick façade visible internally as features within the office. Energy-saving measures were then incorporated through insulation placed inside the brick cavity walls.
Fabiano Cellini concluded that the impressive nature of the Black Brick was evident in the finished product, and that he looked forward to engaging in future developments that incorporated Corobrik’s expanding product range: “We have worked with Corobrik for almost 20 years and they have always offered us exceptional service, competitive prices, consistency in product quality and a wide range of styles to match our developmental needs.”