The MARC, located in the ‘Golden Square Mile’ of the Sandton CBD, has created a new urban landmark and transformed the character of the surrounding neighbourhood on street level by activating a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly public domain.
Johannesburg’s brand new retail and office complex, named for its location in the heart of South Africa’s financial district, is on Maude and Rivonia Corner in Sandton. The project’s architects, Boogertman + Partners, wanted to build a facility that reflected the area’s fashionable, modern and energetic atmosphere.
Developed by Eris Property Group, the former ‘Village Walk’ is now a mixed-use development that comprises two office towers, a two-level retail centre with everything from fashion outlets to eateries, gym to medical suites. The design facilitates a shift to transparency and pedestrian traffic through large, wide urban staircases, generous pavements, public benches, hard and soft landscaping, and artworks. Three entrances flow through the two floors of retail and gym, above which are the towers: a 12-floor ovoid tower, the Jewel, boasting a gold-and-black façade designed to contrast with the predominantly blue and clear glass Sandton skyline and a 17-floor tower occupied by legal firm ENS. Parking is accommodated in 6.5 basement levels. The office buildings create visual impact on a busy intersection while allowing for physical and visual connections to the retail and podium components using an urban staircase and on grade access points.
The overarching concept of open access and transparency has been maintained in the retail design by curved glass shop fitting, softly lit arches and skylights connecting visibility and light with ease of mobility. With multiple entrances from both Maude and Rivonia streets, and no barriers restricting entrance, the precinct is easily accessible from the street and surrounds. Increased foot traffic positively influences all retail tenants and, combined with the landmark destination, adds significantly to the employee value proposition for commercial tenants.
Developing a lighting scheme
Creating a lighting design for a project that encompasses three separate buildings, fell to Regent Lighting Solutions (RLS). RLS does a significant amount of work with Claasen Auret and Boogertman + Partners, and were approached when it came to the specialised lighting required for the project. The project wasn’t conventionally lit because much of the lighting supplied was in the form of a linear fitting – kilometres of it – going around corners, fitting into narrow gaps, running all the way down offices. RLS also provided linear façade lighting in the recessed balconies. One demanding challenge was designing fittings to go into slatted aluminium which had already been specified. “In cases like this, it would have been beneficial for all parties to meet at the start of the project and consider the design together, but since we are a local manufacturer, we were able to make it work,” believe RLS.
Another challenge for RLS was meeting fairly complicated lighting requirements within a short timeline, as well as providing the correct lux level out of very small profiles. As RLS’s lights are efficient, they had to, in certain areas such as the restaurants and entertainment areas, dim the lights as they were too bright.
“Looking back, from all accounts everyone is happy,” note the designers from RLS, “Despite incredibly short timelines and a complicated manufacturing process, the end result speaks for itself.”
RLS was asked to create a suspended fitting with a bi-directional light source that would create an attractive feature on the ceiling and provide the required functional light output on the floor.
The fitting is cylindrical and suspended at three points and the internal wall of the cylinder had to be gold in colour. “This was a truly unique fitting, locally designed and custom manufactured specifically for the client’s requirements,” says Byron Lottering, marketing coordinator at RLS.
As the MARC has multiple entrances and stairways, a special request was made for a linear light source that mimicked the right angles of the stairways, and portrayed a sense of direction, thus the Linear Inca was supplied. The upper level stairway and escalator landings are supplied with custom Jura 1002 24 W 36°, track mounted in a recessed cavity in the ceiling, while the lower level and basement parking landings feature Nexio recessed downlights at 24 W with a 50° beam. Within the main shopping mall, stairways between various levels feature recessed Floren 30 W fittings. Here the architect wanted to use a different profile; the Inca has a recessed diffuser – offering lower glare – and its click-in system makes it easy to work with.
The retail space itself, where RLS worked closely with Pamboukian lightdesign, provides shoppers who live and work in the nearby Sandton area with convenient shopping, restaurants and a gym. The entrances to the mall are lined with the Argo post top from RLS, leading from the street towards the entrance overhang. The overhang is highlighted by suspended Aldos up to 4.2 m with an ‘up and down’ light source.
“The project also has a glass roof with support beams that required a high output fitting that would blend seamlessly into the design,” says Lottering. To meet this requirement, the Floren 30 W 1500 lm was supplied. It is also recessed into wooden slatted ceilings throughout. Elsewhere, recessed into the ceiling edges above the interior passage and walkways is an adapted black 24 W Jura 1002 track light. Linear mini fittings in RGB create ambiance in the restroom passages within the mall, while the parking and basement levels are lined with Shuttle wall mounted fittings.
Externally, the landscape surrounding the precinct features numerous fittings in different applications, including the Shuttle trunion mounted 18 W fitting on an 11 m pole, as well as in all planters throughout the building. Miso recessed wall lights provide low level lighting on the stairways and low level boundary walls, whilst the 16 W Malta Bollard plinth mounted at a height of 700 mm in all planter and lawn terraces provides pathway lighting. “For key amenity lighting throughout all landscape areas at the MARC, we used the Argo Post top 54 W,” concludes Lottering.
Architects: Boogertman + Partners
Developer: Eris Property Group
Town planner: Urban Innovate
Façade contractor: Geustyn & Horak
Quantity surveyor: AECOM
Structural engineer: Aurecon Group
Project managers: SIP Project Managers
Electrical engineer: Claasen Auret
Mechanical engineer: Spoormaker and Partners
Sustainability consultant: WSP Green by Design
Lighting designers: Pamboukian lightdesign