Menlyn Park Shopping Centre’s R2,5-billion, two-year phased refurbishment has positioned the mall as the dominant super-regional shopping centre in Tshwane. BILD Architects and Terra Ether Architects partnered to shape the look of what has become one of South Africa’s world-class retail destinations, says Eddie Pretorius, director of BILD Architects, that is considerably more than skin deep. “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.
Olive Ndebele, general manager of Menlyn Park Shopping Centre, says that delivering an all-inclusive shopping experience at Menlyn Park was the end goal of the redevelopment.
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,” says Pretorius. 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.
Central Park has become a hub of activity, with ongoing events designed to keep the whole family engaged and entertained throughout the year. Flanked by popular restaurants and picturesque trees, the piazza is the perfect place to enjoy a beautiful evening at Menlyn Park. The revamped indoor food court is the perfect place to grab a quick bite to eat before enjoying some great retail therapy in the nearby fashion wing. The Hard Rock Cafe with its famous guitar and legendary burgers takes centre stage at the new entrance.
The centre remained open and trading throughout the renovations, allowing for construction works between 10pm to 7am; to preserve a sense of normality to the much-loved shopping scene. A rare and innovative feature, was the retail village, constructed to temporarily house many 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 Ndebele.
A major achievement was a 4-star Green Star Retail Design rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) for the substantial efforts to develop the first building phase of the redevelopment along environmentally friendly design and construction principles.
Pretorius points out that BILD Architects were 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).