Hirt and Carter is an industrial building / office space that consists of a shared printing facility and head office in KwaZulu-Natal.

Initially, the client was looking for a project site where they could build their new office and factory component. Over the course of the design stage with the architect, the tenant of the building realised they would require a substantially larger building to accommodate the amalgamation of different printing companies under one roof. The final design included a factory component that consists of 45 000m2 and an office of 5000m2.

The factory was moulded with an off-centred curved barrel shape spanning 290m along the profile and 598m along the front. Steel was the construction material of choice to achieve the spans required for the design.

The design team came up with a design that encapsulated an economical factory design with large cantilevering canopies that are elegantly tied into the factory façade. The steel sizing and structural capabilities of the design fit seamlessly with the aesthetics that the architects set out to achieve. The design showcases a lightweight truss system with the factory component displaying a simple white box touching a concrete shelled office space that showcases CHS steel columns that playfully hold up the wings while spanning the main entrance within a steel bridge and stair design. I-beams of different sizes were used along with circular hollow sections, which adds to the playful look and feel of the office structure. Square hollow sections were used at the main entrance of the structure.

Global Roofing Solutions’ Kliplock system was used to clad the building. This system was used in conjunction with hardwood timber packers as spacers to allow for 40mm insulation within the factory. The office component houses extruding concrete framed meeting pod boxes that have SHS steel supports hidden within the glazing edge trim to give the feeling of structural feeling.

The design of the factory required massive roof spans that minimise the height of the structure and steel usage within the truss build ups over the long lengths. The large overhanging canopies were designed to elegantly touch the factory component, creating a functional covered space outside over the external hardstand.

The process on site was restricted due to two back edge boundary lines and required careful consideration to achieve a workable and practical solution. The professional team worked closely together from the start and they workshopped various forms to derive a collaborated proposal. Prior to construction, the contractor joined the design team so that all of the options to clad the massive spans could be properly explored and planned for.

Project Team

Project Team Role Company
Client/ Developer Tisco Blackstar
Architect Elphick Proome
Main Contractor Stefanutti Stocks
Steelwork Contractor Avellini Bros
Steel Erector Impact engineering
Cladding Manufacturer Global Roofing Solutions
Cladding Supplier Global Roofing Solutions
Cladding Contractor Impact engineering

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