The final phase of global chemicals company Sasol’s new headquarters, Sasol Place, in Sandton, its tenth floor, was commissioned on Monday. This not only houses its group executive suites, but also hosts the company’s engagement facilities.
This completes the 11-storey, 47-m-tall office complex, which holds 67 000 m2 of rentable office area. Speaking during a media tour on Tuesday, real estate management company Betapoint CEO and Sasol tenant representative and project management and integration lead Adam Sargent explained that, while the new building was massive, it reduced Sasol’s office footprint by up to almost 40%.
The building consolidates Sasol’s 17 offices across Johannesburg under one roof. “It is a lot more efficient in terms of our footprint . . . traffic studies were also done at all the potential sites we were looking at,” he noted, adding that with the public transport infrastructure evolving in the Sandton node, traffic would not necessarily worsen over the years.
Sasol also offers a shuttle service, running from 06:00 to 18:00, Monday to Friday, collecting visitors and employees from its main lobby every ten minutes and transporting them to the Gautrain station, which is less than a kilometre from Sasol Place.
“This is a long-term home [for Sasol], the traffic engineers advised that the areas that Sasol was in, such as Rosebank would be experiencing quite significant growth. If you look over 5 to 15 years, there is no comparison between Rosebank in 2012 with what it will be like in 2020.”
Sasol staff started moving into the new building by the end of October. Sasol strategic projects senior VP Fay Hoosain told Engineering News Online that all staff will move to the new building before year-end.
While currently housing 2 500 employees, along with 300 auxilary staff, the building can accommodate more employees as the company grows. “The building is extremely flexibile in terms of its design . . . it is future-proof. There is room to densify quite comfortably and to reconfigure space quite quickly, so should there be a requirement, the building allows for it,” Sargent said.
Hoosain added that it could, in future, house up to 4 000 people.
Sasol considered 22 different site proposals and, in March 2013, following an extensive evaluation process, the company selected the Sasol Pension Fund and its partners, The Elixir Trust and Alchemy Properties to co-own, develop and lease the new office in Katherine street.
Besides the office floors, the building also hosts work cafes, alternative work spaces including dialogue rooms and collaboration rooms, a dining area, a fitness centre, a pastry shop, an auditorium and a sculpture garden, among other.
“Our new corporate head office will transform the way we think about our work environment and how to best leverage individual and team strengths. Every aspect of the building is geared towards delivering an exceptional experience and to enable high performance,” Hoosain said.
Both Hoosain and Sargent highlighted the Sasol Place gardens as a must-see. The garden is divided into four different indigenous biomes to reflect South Africa’s diversity of fauna and flora, including a Highveld grassland, a Highveld savannah, Highveld forest and a wetland.
Each biome will attract a different set of birds and insects particular to that area.