Ackermans & Speciality Clothing’s new Distribution Facility is located in Kwazulu-Natal.

Project  New Distribution Facility for Ackermans & Speciality, Hammarsdale, Kwazulu-Natal

Address  Keystone Park, Hammarsdale

Size  88 325sqm warehouse & 6 288sqm offices

The concept behind the Pepkor warehouse in Hammarsdale was derived from the notion that warehouses are not wedding cakes, with the principal requirements being that the warehouse meets the design criteria and is cost efficient. Hence the ‘traditional warehouse’ building form of this main distribution center for Ackermans and Speciality Clothing, with the successful manipulation of the building envelope giving it a contemporary feel.

The design brief called for an 88 325 m2 through-flow warehouse with full circulation around the perimeter of the warehouse and a large staging area for trucks, as well as 6 288 m2 of offices.

The building form is based on a traditional warehouse cross section. However, the envelope is based on a contemporary approach to cladding buildings. This was achieved by using two different tones of sheeting colours and playing with the vertical plane of the sheeting. We chose to accentuate the length of the building as well as framing and grounding the building with the same dark grey sheeting on the same plane. The recessed plane was in the lighter grey sheeting and translucent sheeting.

The major challenge in the design process was that the two tenants, with similar but unique requirements, needed to be accommodated in one building. The tenants also made use of different tenant fit out specialists, each with their own requirements. Another major challenge was the requirement to create a secure and safe working environment. This was achieved through building underpasses from the parking areas to the main offices. Therefore staff have very limited and tightly controlled access to yards.

Facebrick was specifically used as it is low maintenance, renewable and is one of the building components that contributed towards the creation of employment during the construction period. Very high natural light levels in the warehouse were achieved through the use of strategically placed translucent sheeting in the façade of the warehouse. The form of the warehouse and the roof design optimise the natural air flow through the warehouse. Due to high internal ambient temperatures and number of staff working on mezzanines – large industrial ceiling fans were installed to facilitate air movement and ensure a comfortable working environment. LED lighting was used throughout the facility. Another sustainable initiative included harvesting stormwater for the use in the toilets, urinals and landscaping.

Due to the scale of the warehouse and proximity to the N3 it has become a landmark in terms of identifying both the Hammarsdale off ramp and, more importantly, Keystone Park. The colours used as well as the warehouse form create a unique façade which clearly breaks the skyline.


Grant Pitcher

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