BILD Architects and Terra Ether Architects partnered to shape the look of the refurbished Menlyn Park Shopping Centre. The R2.5bn, two-year phased revamp is considerably more than skin deep says Eddie Pretorius, director of BILD Architects.
“One of the biggest challenges in the redevelopment was seamlessly integrating the old section of the mall with the new, as the proportions were quite different,” he explains.
For the revamp, a new concept was developed to create new spaces and extensions with a fresh, classic look. “The look and feel needed to be both more current and timeless, to give the centre an extended lease of life,” he says. One such innovation was the installation of skylights wherever possible, ensuring plenty of natural light and neutral tones to help achieve a natural integration from the old and the new.
The new design centred on three major features: the outside piazza Central Park, the refurbished indoor food court, and the dining node at the new entrance.
The centre remained open and trading throughout the renovations, allowing for construction work between 10pm to 7am. A retail village was constructed to temporarily house outlets while their new stores were being built.
To shield the worst of the demolition chaos from shoppers, a giant origami artwork was installed as a temporary hoarding. “We created this intricate wall inspired by Pretoria’s world-renowned jacaranda trees to serve as a decoration during our retail expansion,” says Olive Ndebele, general manager of Menlyn Park Shopping Centre.
The centre has achieved a four-star Green Star Retail Design rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) for the efforts to develop the first building phase of the redevelopment along environmentally friendly design and construction principles.
Pretorius points out that BILD Architects was also involved in the redevelopment of the centre that took place in 2000. “This provided an advantage in anticipating the opportunities and challenges that lay ahead,” he says. And that project raised the bar, achieving a merited industry award for “Renovation or Expansion of an existing Project”, by the International Council of Shopping Centres (ICSC).