Paragon Group: one of the largest design practices in Africa

11 August 2017

The Paragon Group is one of the largest design practices in Africa. Over the past seven years, it has undertaken projects in 18 countries on the continent, and in Brazil.

 Projects have been completed in eleven countries in Africa, encompassing both interior design and architecture, while six are in construction phase.

These countries are Swaziland, Kenya, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, and Congo-Brazzaville. “We are also in discussions to merge with local practices in two African countries, and have been approached for work as far afield as Oman,” reveals Founding Director Henning Rasmuss. “We have established a company in India to target future growth, as we expect the Indian market to mature.”

Projects outside of South Africa have been part of the group since 2001, with Rasmuss focusing exclusively on projects in Africa since 2012. Locally, it is launching its Cape Town office in September, while its transformation initiative is being spearheaded by Paragon Architects South Africa (PASA), which is 51%-black owned and B-BBEE Level 2 certified.

“We work carefully and consistently to maintain our position as one of the largest practices on the continent, and aim to be as agile and flexible as possible,” Rasmuss comments.

Paragon Architects, part of the Paragon Group, was established in 1997 by Anthony Orelowitz and Rasmuss, who had collaborated on two projects prior to the latter relocating to Hong Kong for nine months.

The two founding partners then joined forces and began to work together permanently. The company’s name was registered formally in February 1999, after a high-profile win in an architectural competition for the first phase of the Melrose Arch precinct in Johannesburg.

“From its inception, Paragon Architects saw itself as a generalist practice, seeking out each and every project type as a learning opportunity, and engaging fully with the possibilities inherent in each project,” Rasmuss highlights. The Paragon Group itself comprises various independently owned and managed companies, namely Paragon Architects, Paragon Interface, and PASA.

The Paragon Group confirmed its status as one of the premier architecture and design firms in South Africa at the South African Property Owners’ Association (SAPOA) awards at its annual convention in Cape Town on 21 and 22 June.

Here Paragon Architects and Paragon Interface clinched four major awards, namely the Office Developments: Corporate Award for the iconic Sasol Place in Sandton, Interiors (Sasol Place), Innovation Developments (GE Africa Innovation Centre), and the prestigious Overall Winner (Sasol Place).

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