South Africa : Clearwater Mall To Be Expanded

The award-winning Clearwater Mall will be expanding to accommodate the growing demand for further retail space at this popular shopping centre. The first earthworks started in October 2009 and the project is scheduled for completion in November 2010.

Clearwater Mall has become one of the preferred shopping destinations in the northwestern suburbs of Johannesburg in the rapidly expanding residential node along Hendrik Potgieter Drive.

The Mall's success bears testimony to the design expertise of Bentel Associates International (BAI), the architects responsible for the original architecture of the building. Built in 2004 on a 17,3 hectare site at the junction of Christiaan de Wet and Hendrik Potgieter Roads, the superbly designed Mall currently has 64 000m2 of shops, cinemas and restaurants. It is configured in a three-legged triangular format with anchor tenants Pick 'n Pay, Woolworths and Edgars at each point of the triangle. A unique feature of Clearwater Mall is the retractable sliding roof, which can be closed to cover the entire central piazza area in unfavourable weather conditions.

The 23 000m2 extension is to accommodate the expansion requirements of Edgars, Woolworths and Stuttafords. In addition, a new 5 300m2 Game store and a selection of fashion and electronic brands will be included in the extension.

The current configuration of the Mall allows parking surrounding the building on all sides with convenient access to all shops. One of the six entrances has direct access to the entertainment court and includes a drop-off zone.

The front of the centre currently has on-grade parking - another new deck on top of that which will provide on-grade parking to the first floor level. The design also includes space for a link to the future rapid transit system and a taxi rank with 45 bays.

The architectural team is finding the design of the extension challenging, particularly in terms of the fact that the project is on a very tight budget and there are power usage restrictions.

It was not possible to obtain extra electricity permissions for the added space at Clearwater Mall. This has necessitated innovative design plans which incorporate several sustainable options, especially in terms of increasing the amount of natural light in the extension.

However, in all the buildings BAI design, they are increasingly focusing on various aspects of sustainability and energy efficiency. Clients are looking more closely at environmental issues maintenance and operating costs and many are realising that initial capital outlay will be offset in the medium to long-term.

Bentel Associates International is fully committed to developing a sustainable building philosophy. South Africa has recently adopted the Australian Green Star Code which includes best practice standards that are applicable and customised to the South African built environment. Energy efficiency is commercially viable and with lifecycle cost taken into account, the increased upfront expenditure is justified and in this case unavoidable, as further power permissions were not possible.

The sustainable approach to architectural design implies additional design challenges. BAI already has extensive experience in terms of the consideration of appropriate materials and the use of design and technology to conserve energy. The company has always maintained an innovative approach to aesthetic but functional visual design solutions that are flexible and which respect the environment and context within which a new building is sited.

BAI's provide holistic design expertise to top developers in several countries and the company's visionary and innovative approach enables them to produce functional aesthetic plans that ensure the long-term success and commercial viability of the buildings they design.

The company currently has numerous projects underway in Southern Africa including the designs for the Gautrain stations and various ACSA developments. BAI is also very active in India where they currently have over 50 projects underway. Recent design highlights include the Bedford precinct, Gugulethu Square, South City Mall in Kolkata, UB City in Bangalore, Lagos Palms in Nigeria and Accra Mall in Ghana.

© 2009 Lois Aitchison, FVS Marketing & PR

For further information please contact:

Bentel Associates International
Pieter Jooste:+27 11 884 7111
Fax:+27 11 884 7110

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