The new Barloworld showroom is an architectural innovation – curves that were conceptually derived from the shape and form of the earthmoving equipment.
The undulating curving shell over the length of the showroom is supported by a finely detailed steel structure which focuses on volume, shifting from a 7.5m high bulge to the central apex of approximately 14.5m, and back to the intermediate 12m western bulge.
North of the structure is the highway facing the full-height, flush glazed unitized façade that has eight 4m x 5.5m flush glazed vertical sliding doors, which take the shape of the enclosed showroom. Behind this is the office component that has cantilever office pods and meeting rooms overlooking the iconic equipment.
On the ground floor, visitors are met by natural materials that open up to the main entrance ramps and stairs, onto the circulation spine. The eastern side of the spine incorporates external seating and an eating area nestled under a canopy of trees. Here there is also soft landscaping, meandering between external equipment, and accommodating circulation towards the grand entrance doors at reception and client greeting areas – all fully populated by marketing material and client facing components.
The ground floor internal showroom has a landscaped spine that acts as the threshold between showroom and office. The office occupants above circulate via an exposed staircase that wraps a single lift core onto the mezzanine floor, which hosts additional office components and ablution facilities.
A balance of iconic design with functional aesthetics
Barloworld Equipment, dealer for iconic Caterpillar earthmoving equipment, was leaving Sandton and wanted a state-of-the-art development which had to include a flagship Caterpillar showroom for their equipment – excavators, loaders, dozers and graders, which are usually too large to accommodate indoors, except in a barnlike warehouse. The brief was to balance iconic design with functional aesthetics while maintaining a cost-effective solution.
Barloworld required its new showroom for used equipment to have maximum exposure to the R24 highway for brand presence and awareness. The new showroom also had to house the Cat Rental and Used Equipment offices.
The finished design houses and showcases all Caterpillar used and rental via means of internal and external areas. The new Barloworld showroom maximizes this to increase the brand reach.
The building assists in creating a productive but agile working environment and takes into account energy efficiency.