Springs Mall is a 50 000sqm shopping centre located alongside ecologically sensitive wetlands in a town steeped in history. Springs is also the last town in the east of the Witwatersrand before entering the platteland.
The retail centre was developed for Flanagan & Gerard and designed by MDS Architecture to specifically take the environment into account. Pierre Lahaye, a partner and MDS Architecture, says that the location of the shopping centre became the catalyst for the design, which includes contemporary interpretations of tactile timber, stone and natural materials. In addition, the roof is designed to accommodate future photo voltaic cells.
“The four entrances at the multi-level Springs Mall are prominent and are designed individually to relate what is happening inside the shopping centre so that the experience starts at the door. While the retail entrances are quite tactile and feature timbler and steel, the entertainment entrance has a more glamorous feel with animated lighting. The entrance near the restaurants is more open and permeable, featuring a glass curtain wall to ensure that those inside can see out and those inside have a direct view into the building.
“We have designed unique dog leg entrances at Springs Mall to create a wind break which in turn creates a wind lobby, removing the need for expensive revolving doors,” explains Lahaye. From a distance, the building seems to blend into the landscape, despite its size. “We broke the scale of the building down by using tactile material such as glass, timber and off-shutter concrete,” explains Lahaye.
As with most MDS Architecture designs, natural light features prominently through clerestorey windows and skylights in the court areas. The orientation of the building allowed for all the roof lights to face south, which is considered to be the best source of clerestorey lighting. It also allows the light to be consistent.
Springs Mall has been designed to accommodate site conditions, specifically dolomitic conditions. Lahaye says that this that required specific risk measures, including designing the ground floor like a slab to span over the dolomitic conditions and keeping an eye on risk factors across all the aspects of the building. “There are a number of complexities. For example, piping and drainage is attached to the structure and is not housed in the ground, as is the norm. Service tunnels have been created to expose pipes in large beams spanning between columns, the landscaping has been designed to ensure it does not create more risk and foundations have been adjusted to ensure stability,” he says. Springs Mall was completed in March 2017.
MDS Architecture is an award-winning practice that has designed buildings that attract the business, the people and the activity that lead to a sustained performance. With a proud reputation spanning more than 60 years, the practice is renowned for its skill in the sectors of hospitality and leisure, retail developments, offices, residential buildings and interiors. For more information on MDS Architecture, visit www.mdsarch.co.za
CLIENT: Blue Crane Eco Mall
DEVELOPERS: Flanagan & Gerard
ARCHITECT: MDS Architecture
QUANTITY SURVEYOR: Norval Wentzel Steinberg
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Civil Concepts
ELECTRICAL ENGINEER: Quad Africa Consulting Engineers
MECHANICAL ENGINEER: QMech Consulting Engineers
FIRE CONSULTANT: Specialised Fire Technology
TRAFFIC CONSULTANT: Royal Haskoning
TENANT AND TIME MANAGEMENT: Orion Project Managers
LANDSCAPING: Berta Wium Landscape Design and Insite Landscape Architects
WET SERVICES: CKR Consulting Engineers
MAIN CONTRACTOR: Giuricich Bros Construction
LEASING: Flanagan & Gerard Group
HEALTH & SAFETY: Bitline
DOLOMITE RISK CONSULTANTS: Dolrisk
TOWN PLANNING: Deon van Zyl