Latest Case Studies

Exxaro and HKLM

1 June 2013
HKLM recently designed the new satellite offices for mining group, Exxaro. Located at the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel close to the JSE in Sandton, the offices serve as a corporate work space, catering for short and longer visits.
Exxaro and HKLM
The Brand Challenge:

"People design and decorate their living spaces to reflect their individual personalities and brands should too, because workplace design can be the differential between mediocrity and success," states Graham Leigh, architect and founding director of strategic brand and communication design consultancy, HKLM.

Corporate spaces should mirror the values of a brand, how it operates and how its employees behave.  In this way such spaces are more than just offices; they're marketing tools that communicate powerful branding messages to stakeholders.

HKLM recently designed the new satellite offices for mining group, Exxaro. Located at the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel close to the JSE in Sandton, the offices serve as a corporate work space, catering for short and longer visits.

The design brief called for a stylish space that was on-trend worldwide, that related to a pan-African expression and that captured the spirit of a mining company that was going from strength to strength.

The Brand Solution:

From extensive research, HKLM conceptualised a collection of individual spaces within the greater whole, all underpinned by a sophisticated pan-African motive combined with fresh clean lines that tapped into Exxaro's new thinking and vision for the future.

Adding elements of interest throughout the space are engaging art works that reflect Exxaro's passion for and investment in contemporary art by emerging South African artists. The collection was compiled by HKLM's Johan van Wyk in partnership with art curator, Chenette Swanepoel, who together commissioned the various pieces in accordance with the Exxaro brand guidelines. Among the pieces are a 3D artwork, produced by the Maropong Art Centre, and a larger work comprising 90 portraits of Exxaro employees, commissioned from several artists, art students and children. Both these works were procured from within the Grootgeluk local community. This collection of new works was complemented by pieces from Exxaro's existing collection, including a bronze sculpture and Tretchikoff painting.

Exxaro 01

While the interior branding had to be effective and distinctive, it also had to feature sophisticated yet subtle integrated branding touch points. To achieve this balance, massive cut-outs incorporating the 'xx' design from Exxaro's logo were used to great effect throughout the space. In the reception area, these vibrant installations frame the generous space and set the tone for the rest of the building, while their use at other touch points create an understated branded interface between executives and clients.

The offices take advantage of spectacular 180-degree views through massive windows dressed with slim slatted aluminium blinds overlaid with light and airy curtains. This creates a gentle, comfortable light that is relaxing and easy to work in - a distinct departure from the harshness traditionally associated with corporate spaces.

This innovative design divides the space into a lounge with bar, library and several hot desk spaces, including a boardroom, two smaller meeting rooms and three office spaces for executives looking for a little more privacy. All these spaces offer full data articulation, pop desks for plug and play and integrated server connections directly linked to Exxaro's Pretoria head office.

The Results:

The overall result is a seamless synthesis of extraordinary ideas, textures, technology and innovation. The aesthetics reflect the company's core offering while embodying its fresh, dynamic and energetic spirit. The space is functional and at the same time works to build the Exxaro brand.

Exxaro 02

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