W Meyer Optometrists were founded in 1906 and in 1939 A.G.J Hübner acquired the concern and continued as such until 1986 when second generation Klaus Hübner converted the business to a specialised professional Optometry. After decades at the inner city address, Klaus and Heide Hübner wanted to relocate to a new address in Jan Jonker Road.
I have been a client of Meyer Optometrists since high school and was therefor very excited when Deidré de Waal Architects were commissioned to design the new W. Meyer Optometrist Practice.
We accepted happily.
We designed around a very well formulated client brief, but we were allowed a lot of creative freedom, which we appreciated.
The project consists of 2 parts – a separate smaller office block and caretaker flat at the higher end of the property with allocated parking; and the W. Meyer offices taking centre stage at the front end of the property.
One enters Meyer Optometrists through large glass doors from the parking area into a large double volume space, light and airy – which houses the reception area, display area with state of the art optic display cabinets and the waiting area.
From there, the entire internal area is easily legible. The Optic Lab is transparent making it very exciting for people to see how their glasses are being manufactured.
Also on the ground floor are the testing rooms and Instrument Room.
Administration, storage and staff facilities are on the first floor with the administration and staff area overlooking the double volume area.
The internal colour palette was kept neutral and simple. White, blonde wood and charcoal are the major colours with splashes of softer greys and greens – all chosen to offer the visitor a calm and serene experience away from the city bustle outside.
An exciting feature is the mechanical louvers on the western façade. Large aluminium louvers have been installed on mechanical arms, programmed to close slowly as the day progresses, keeping the harsh western sun out of the interior space. In addition to this, all the glazed panels are tinted laminated glass further insulating the building.
The building is in essence a steel frame building with glazed and brick infill panels. Stairs are steel with blonde wood treads and aluminium balustrading. The exterior was kept extremely simple. We wanted a timeless building that will withstand the test of time and hopefully will house the new W Meyer Optometrists for at least as long as the previous address!