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The upgrade and expansion of the manufacturing capability in Port Elizabeth commenced in 2004 and has been ongoing ever since. More specifically the multi-phased upgrade of the original factory, which started in 2006, has just seen the completion of Phase 2B.
Phase 2B was created to further enhance the manufacturing capability created in Phase 2A. The Phase 2B facility had to integrate with both 2A and the original facility. This posed a number of challenges, mainly due to space constraints on site and the existing layout. This was overcome by moving the canteen, health center and laundry and utilizing this space for the new production facility
The design brief called for a barrier-free and flexible new manufacturing area, serviced by extensive and complicated reticulation systems.
The architects skillfully, erected a steel structure over parts of the existing reinforced concrete structure, with the various production and plant rooms suspended form the new steel framework. Circulation was moved to the front of the site, taking advantage of natural light, as well as views across the North End Lake – considerations not generally associated with facilities of this nature. Prominent cantilevered service components, conspicuously clad in bright blue corrugated sheet metal and hovering above the transparent circulation areas, modulate the street façade and provide an attractive backdrop for panoramic views from the ctity.