GPI 2 Incubator
South Africa
The GPI2 Business Incubator offers the opportunity to create change which expand into the social fabric to ultimately uplift Africa, through innovation, entrepreneurship and business creation. The brief overlaps between Education and Development, providing a training education centre focused on the development of entrepreneurs and business. It is a special purpose facility providing a range of support services and mentorship to a selected early-stage businesses. The aim is to support incubatees to become sustainable to the point of gaining favourable access to markets, finance and networks. The interior architectural concept takes inspiration from nature. Just as a plant begins as a fragile sapling and with the right support and environment, can grow into an established tree that provides shade, habitat and forms part of a well-established local eco system, so it is with start-up business ideas. We have incorporated elements from nature in a contemporary unique way. The focus is on innovative exploration of materials and technique in the construction. We have developed a skeletal structure that forms the main access route in the space. It is a very dynamic structure created from steel, timber and LED lighting. It evokes the imagination and creates nodes for ‘casual collisions’, creating spatial opportunities to spark conversation and inspire an idea! Walls are opaque sliding glass panels and become surfaces for sketching. The main focus of the interior space is the central presentation pod. This space is the nucleus of the incubator, a space to present, discuss, critique, dream and learn. It is also made of a skeletal structure similar to the green route, but is a unique beautifully constructed element in the space. Additional support facilities of hotdesking, flexible office spaces, storage, and reception form the remainder of the extent of the space.

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