New Materials Mean New Applications in Modern Architecture
Dynamic architecture firm AMA Architects, based in Johannesburg, has designed some of the urban landscapes most striking and environmentally harmonious contemporary buildings.
The firm’s list of corporate clients includes VW, Clientele, Exxaro, Dis-Chem and Kaya FM, and its recent list of projects includes Corner Main, Grayston Axis and Eco Junction. Whether for commercial or residential spaces, AMA Architects – which incorporates D12 Interiors, has been well recognised for its leading design portfolio since its inception in 1993.
Modern Architectural Materials
Group managing director Adrian Maserow is no stranger to the concept of modern materials and innovative applications in the African context. “We’ve always described ourselves as contemporary architects – that’s our ethos, the zeitgeist, our spirit. We’re always using what’s available to us in terms of technical expertise and our understanding of modern society, particularly if it will give us an advantage. Every new project is an opportunity to explore and experiment and reach higher heights.”
Maserow says when he was approached by Eva-Last eight years ago, in order to expose the firm to their alternative to traditional wooden decking materials, it took a while to develop his own interpretation of the material. A co-extruded composite of recycled plastic and bamboo, the base of Eva-Last’s products provided its own potential for use in the local environment.
“We actually shy away from wood lookalikes. But with Eva-Last’s products we use them in their own right.” - Maserow, AMA Architects
“We actually shy away from wood lookalikes. But with Eva-Last’s products we use them in their own right. These products are low-maintenance, high-quality and fits perfectly with our sustainable ethos because it is partly made of recycled plastics. The high quality is ultimately what made the products stand out,” Maserow says.
“Lots of smaller and even larger fly-by-night companies aiming for lumber alternatives just didn’t have the right product. Primarily our applications of Eva-Last products have been in office buildings, decks, terraces, feature spaces with planters and seats. All these have been very successful and we’ve had no comebacks – the materials have performed very well.”
Eva-Last Composite Decking Is A Great Choice
According to Maserow, Eva-Last’s longevity in the region's climate, requiring no oiling or treatment other than an occasional clean, has been successfully tested in the dry highveld. Eva-Last’s products, which all come with sustainable certification, have also been a perfect fit for modern environmentally sensitive building designs.
“Environmental and safety considerations are huge for us. We’ve been fortunate to have designed a number of green star-rated buildings, and we’ve won South African Property Owners’ Association awards for sustainability nationally. The Exxaro head office we’re building in Pretoria is one example of a five-star rating, and we’re aiming for six stars. It’s all about the other aspects of buildings we need to consider these days – air quality, wellness of the people inside it, water quality, lighting, just how healthy the building is in general. Building owners want to drive towards a carbon-zero environment,” Maserow says.
He says Eva-Last’s certifications and ratings for safety globally have also given its products a head start in being used in cutting-edge designs.
“We have moved forward to discussing some new, novel applications of Eva-Last materials with the company in our upcoming projects. We’d like to use these materials more for screening, cladding and even furniture – anything where a board might be useful externally is an opportunity.
“We think we could build anything with Eva-Last’s products: benches, signage, screens, any number of things. So far the response has been good and we think their market will expand soon. As a company they’re energetic, always interested in new ideas, they show a need to be ahead of the pack. That’s what competition does – it fine-tunes your business, makes you better.”
Some of the upcoming projects for which AMA Architects intends calling on Eva-Last for material applications is a city square in Johannesburg. “Part of that design will involve raised decks with planters and street furniture, which will need to be extremely robust. We’re also looking at using their products in retail colonnades, to provide suncreens and modulate solar control in buildings,” Maserow says.
Eva-Last® is a globally recognised and trusted brand that manufactures and distributes specialised bamboo-plastic composite products and building solutions, namely, decking, cladding and indoor flooring. With over a decade of experience in all stages of the industry, from production to installation, Eva-Last® has both practical and technical knowledge that is used to assist owners, developers, architects and building professionals alike in achieving their design objectives. Eva-Last® strives to continually improve and innovate, delivering revolutionary composite products and attentive support to all customers.
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