10 October 2013 - The annual Retail Design and Development Awards (RDDA), a South African Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC) initiative, seeks to recognise exceptional shopping centre design within the local property industry.
The awards recognise shopping centres that are able to successfully achieve a clear overall development goal while adopting innovative design and construction solutions and embracing environmental techniques.
This year’s winners were announced at the 17th Congress of the SACSC, held in September. Two projects that Aurecon was involved in were awarded top honours:
About Newcastle Mall
Leading property developer Zenprop commissioned Vivid Architects in 2010 to design the first mega mall in KwaZulu-Natal’s Newcastle area.
Aurecon provided full civil and structural engineering works and construction supervision, including ground works for the project.
Zenprop’s inspiring vision, expertly enabled by Vivid Architects, led to a final product which boasts high-quality finishes, impeccable landscaping, efficient parking and representation in the design of the region’s rich cultural diversity.
The Newcastle Mall in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
“One of the most significant project challenges was the tight deadlines faced, including overseeing the construction of approximately 100 000m3 of bulk earthworks within a two-month period. This portion of the construction had to be done in the middle of the rainy season,” notes Stoffel Mentz, Civil Engineer at Aurecon.
The structure consists of a steel roof on reinforced concrete columns on a 10 m x 10 m internal grid, with a 150 mm-thick reinforced tilt-up panel acting as a façade element on the perimeter while and providing support for the roof structure.
Despite significant challenges, the team created a functional facility that will have a significant, positive effect on the local economy.
Wahl Hugo, Structural Engineer at Aurecon, concludes: “The project was successful both from an economic and programmatic point of view, meeting tight time and budgetary constraints, all thanks to a well-coordinated team effort which saw all parties committed to the project’s success.”
About Blue Route Mall
One of Cape Town's oldest and most beloved shopping centres, the Blue Route Mall, has undergone a complete transformation as a result of innovative thinking from Fountain Head Property Trust, creative vision from Louis Karol Architects and Aurecon’s technical expertise.
Aurecon was commissioned to undertake the civil and structural works for the project, as well as transportation planning for the mall and surrounds.
The Blue Route Mall in Cape Town, South Africa
Because the project was a refurbishment, the project team had to demonstrate heightened awareness in terms of the project site – with the safety of shoppers and near-by residents paramount at all times.
Aurecon Project Leader, Grant Willemse, comments: “One of the most significant project challenges was the restriction of site space within the existing mall and the danger of damaging the existing structures. However, careful coordination and the inclusion of prefabricated components in the design ensured that the construction team was able to operate efficiently and safely.”
The original retail area of 48 000m2 was replaced by a new, double-level 56 000 m2 mall with undercover parking for 1 500 cars and open parking for 1 600 vehicles. It also includes a third concrete floor level for plant and electrical equipment.
With a client committed to the execution of their vision, the project team was able to build a new structure from the ground up to deliver a highly attractive development driven by efficient design and construction methods.
Since its official reopening on 29 March 2012, the Blue Route Mall has succeeded in evolving into a centre that is not only a shopping destination of choice for the southern suburbs in Cape Town, but for Cape Town as a whole.
“A collaborative approach to challenges and innovative design were the hallmarks of both of these projects and were key to their success. Aurecon is privileged to have dealt with visionary clients and committed project teams on both of these malls,” concludes Ermis Marques, Property Industry Director at Aurecon.