Phillips Avenue is slowly but surely modernizing. Lately there have been concerted efforts by the owners of the buildings along Phillips Avenue to renovate and bring their structures up to date. This has been prompted by both current trends and also as a way of adding value to their properties in this prime area. So when Pam Golding were faced with a renovation project they knew they had to create something that was both unique and in line with the elegant developments happening along the avenue. Pam Golding have been able to do that and more. Interestingly, their previous offices were just next door and there are still signs of their occupancy there with their signature dark green paint on the window frames. They were renting the premises until it started to feel rather odd for a group that encourages clients to own properties not to have a home to call their own. Choosing a house literally next door is a smart move that will cause little inconvenience for their loyal clients and for themselves.
Their new premises are a 1960s residential building. The process of adapting this former family home into offices was spearheaded by Tendayi Hlupo-Mamvura, a negotiator at Pam Golding (who is also a project manager) who knew exactly what needed to be done in order to customise the place to the team’s needs. It could only have taken someone who knows the ins and outs of Pam Golding’s operations to oversee the project so successfully from start to finish.
As this is a building that was constructed over sixty years ago a structural engineer was consulted on how best to undertake the renovation project without compromising the soundness of the structure. Tassmak Architectural Designs drew up some plans for the layout of the interiors. With that out of the way, they managed to complete the renovations in around twelve weeks.
The front boundary wall which is a palisade design, is an intriguing and eye-catching work of art. The boundary wall that was there before, was just a regular precast wall which has now been reused to give privacy to the caretaker’s cottage at the back. The palisade design was cleverly generated from the Pam Golding logo by Tendayi Hlupo-Mamvura who worked with Legacy Designs to make it a reality. Legacy Designs applied the very modern plasma cutting technology to accurately fabricate and bring to life the swirling design at the top of the palisade which resembles a crown taken from the Pam Golding Properties logo.
The main frame of the palisade is also taken from the logo, but what is most impressive is how the full logo has been used to design the main entrance gate which is the personification of logo itself. It is as regal as it gets!
Steering clear of the common Pam Golding Properties logo we may all be used to, they have chosen to use one of their alternative logo with the green lettering on a white background with the standard red accent for a much lighter feel which is quite evident throughout their chosen colour scheme in and around the property. The use of the white background logo was a great choice to make the signage stand out from the surrounding greenery.
In a modest yard they have been able to prioritise a generous, paved parking space which covers a portion of the area in front as well as behind the sales team and the management offices. Careful attention has been paid to the landscaping with well-maintained lawns, established trees and flourishing ornamental shrubs.
In wanting to preserve some of the character of the building the original roof tiles were left unchanged. The striking stone cladding in different shades of grey on the front elevation of the structure brings attention to the main entrance. The cladding provides a tasteful contrast to the neutral paint colours (different shades of greys -a The reception area is an elegant space painted in a light grey with a contrast charcoal wall facing the entrance to welcome you in. As you enter, the brushed satin finish lettering on the contrast wall facing you, makes a bold statement to confirm that you’ve arrived at Pam Golding Properties offices.
The modern furniture in black cherry finish works well with the monochromatic grey colour theme while the red picked up from the Pam Golding Properties logo provides a beautiful sharp contrast to the greys. The interesting use of colours and soft textures put together with a painting of The Face of Pam Golding hung above the reception desk make a strong first impression.
The sales team’s office is adjacent to the reception area. The original dining room and lounge have been incorporated into a large open plan office with modern, innovative workstations in the same black cherry wood finish. The original wooden flooring has been retained but the old ceiling has been replaced with stepped down finishes. Where there were previously old, small, steel frame windows, they have been consolidated into large windows with white aluminium frames, lending a more modern, contemporary look which feels more open and airier with the north facing windows allowing just sufficient sunlight to stream in throughout the day monochromatic colour scheme) used on both the interior and exterior
A tiled hallway runs through the centre with the reception area, a kitchenette, a sales team office and two other offices leading off it. Another passage runs from the middle to the western side where the restrooms and the two boardrooms are located. Having two boardrooms is something that the staff members enjoy. The two adjacent boardrooms were created by dividing a single large room in half. The two offices further up the opposite end of the passage are for management. These are simple and minimalistic offices with tasteful furniture.
The offices have been converted from the original bedrooms with one having an en-suite bathroom. A unique feature is the remote-controlled LED lighting system which also incorporates ceiling fans. The lighting can be set to different light modes daylight, warm white or cool white modes.
The strong brand that carries a 45-year history has been afforded a new, clean, modern working space which has brought on renewed energy and a very strong sense of pride for those working in the space and those who come through to interact there.
Indeed, this new development on 13 Phillips Avenue gives their clients the assurance that Pam Golding is here to stay.
text by Farai Chaka
photos by Structure & Design