The massive 131 000-m² Mall of Africa opened in April 2016 and is currently the largest retail development built in a single phase in Africa. The expansive retail offering features a distinctive design and an ideal location in the middle of the 1.73-million-m² mixed-use Waterfall City development in Midrand, Gauteng. It has already become a go-to destination for both local residents and tourists.
Leading South African property developer and investor, Atterbury Property Group, appointed Aurecon, a global engineering and infrastructure advisory company, as the civil and structural engineers of the iconic development. The sheer size of the mall made the project exceptionally rewarding to work on. The project team, comprising the professional team and the main contractor, had to overcome specific challenges relating to logistics and programming of construction sequences as well as hiring and managing a wide range of subcontractors. A highly-unified team was needed to fast-track the construction of such a large project and complete construction in 32 months. Six of Aurecon’s design offices and over 50 engineers, technicians and draughters worked on the Mall of Africa project to complete it on time.
The design inspiration for the mall and courts is drawn from the natural and geological beauty of the African continent. There are four courts that depict the different climatic zones on the continent: the oleum court depicting the oil rich West Africa, a great lakes court depicting East Africa, a crystal court depicting the mineral wealth in South Africa and a sand court depicting the desert area of North Africa.
The mall’s design incorporates many unique elements, including very high shop fronts, wide passages and an undulating roof feature in the centre with specialist animated LED lighting and a large public space with restaurants known as the Town Square. The gross leasable area is 131 000 m².
Mall of Africa was announced as the winner of the Engineering Excellence Award for projects with a value greater than R250 million at the 2017 Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) Awards.