Commissioned by Royal Vopak, the world’s leading independent tank storage company, Fokkema & Partners Architecten designed a sustainable office building on their new terminal location in Lesedi, South Africa.
Client Vopak
Location Lesedi (South Africa)
Square 1.500
Timeline Fevbruari 2018 - November 2020

With attention to local customs, climate and regulations, Fokkema & Partners concieved a small building ensemble that is both contemporary and sustainable. As this is a new location for operations for Vopak, it was possible from the first outline and layout of the plan to integrate modern technologies, resulting in a compact building, measuring 1.500 m2, that is largely self-sufficient in terms of water and energy resources. 

A large overarching and semi-detached canopy covering the compact office building is designed to provide shade while also allowing for natural ventilation of the building. The canopy is covered with solar panels generating sufficient energy to make the site energy neutral. The project obtained a Green Star SA, 5 (out of 6) Stars “South African Excellence” design certification, with a Net Zero Carbon rating.

The building obtained a Green Star SA, 5 (out of 6) Stars “South African Excellence” design certification, with a Net Zero Carbon rating.


The design is precisely outlined to maximise energy and water efficiency while at the same time providing the location with a welcoming and contemporary building. The comfortable interior houses all support facilities such as the reception, a canteen and office space.

Concrete clad horizontal strips frame a flexible and continuous inlay of all glazed and aluminum panels with rounded edges at the corners. The basic design theme with the rounded corners, a reference to the storage tanks, also determined the look of the smaller utility buildings on site, making a coherent ensemble.

Sharing knowledge and knowhow

Besides a sustainable building, Vopak also provides an inclusive work environment for the staff, supporting the local community. Employees for construction and operations of the terminal are locally sourced, trained and educated with attention to providing opportunities for women.

The design is elaborated in collaboration with the global engineering company Aurecon and local architect MWC. The complex is due to be delivered and ready for operations in December 2020.