MDS Architecture has designed an outdoor lifestyle extension for Eastgate Shopping Centre. Currently under construction, the new lifestyle component will increase the landmark centre's gross lettable area by 12 000 m2 to 121 000 m2.

Sean Pearce, the partner leading the project at MDS Architecture, says that the design is contemporary and experiential. Liberty Life Properties, who own Eastgate Shopping Centre, wanted a fresh design to create a new outdoor attraction for the popular centre, which is 26 years old.

Construction on the first phase of the project commenced in January this year, with final completion scheduled for mid 2009. It is an outdoor area offering a new food court and restaurants, all on the existing roof. There is additional retail space and parking as part of this phase. Phase Two consists of additional retail, speciality retail, hotel, iconic office tower and a six-storey parkade (all dependent on additional rights being approved by council). Phase Three will be a medium-density residential component, which is still to be finalised.

"The new open-air piazza, surrounded by restaurants, will give patrons the opportunity to experience our wonderful climate", says Pearce. "A new triple-volume 'glass eyeball' visually connects the existing upper mall and new food court, as well as projecting out of the old existing façade, creating a strong and dynamic contrast. Whereas shopping centres have tended to be internalised spaces, the glass structure turns the centre inside out, as it were, providing a view of the new food court inside and restaurants beyond."


As the addition is on the rooftop, the design team needed re-inforce the existing roof structure and ensure that materials are lightweight. Concrete and brickwork has been restricted and lightweight walling and roofs will be utilised, as well as steel frameworks with in-fill panels.

A further challenge is posed by the knocking out of existing plant rooms and service-related items, as well as ensuring that the disruption to tenants and shoppers during construction is minimal. "We are creating a new raised floor level over the existing roof, so we need to go into all the stores directly below the area to fit steel plates to the existing beams" says Pearce.


The finishes will include stacking doors to ensure that shoppers can celebrate the outdoor space. The abundance of glass will be complimented by references to contemporary, understated African design. Walls will be covered with textured paint onto pre-cast panelling and timber louvers are included in the design. Covered walkways will be achieved through the use of timber pergolas. Landscaping has been designed to soften the roof top lifestyle extension, which is set to be another landmark for Eastgate Shopping Centre.


MDS Architecture is currently working on a broad range of projects, both in South Africa and abroad. These range from retail shopping centres to office developments and commercial buildings.


Woodmead Retail Park was completed in April 2008. It is an open retail precinct of some 44,000m2 and is situated at the point of convergence of the M1 and N1 highways in Woodmead, Gauteng. This contemporary retail centre features curved accent walls, covered walkways, steel and glass and incorporates the use of natural materials into the design. A second phase is already under construction.

Fairland Office Development houses FNB HomeLoans and WesBank in Gauteng and was handed over in March 2008 by Continuum Architects, a consortium including MDS Architecture. The building houses over 5,000 people. It comprises a three-storey structure with canted concrete columns, supporting corner pod office units and sweeping elliptical features.


Grand Mauritius Resort & Spa in Mauritius is a 5-star, 193 room hotel and spa that is set to open its doors to the public in August 2008. The main building appears to float on a body of water and certain guest room blocks overlook masses of water butting right up against the buildings, whilst others face directly onto the beach.

Planet Fitness is rolling out its new interior design by Design Base, MDS Architecture's interior design division. Bedford Square, Port Elizabeth, Village Walk and Cape Town Planet Fitness gyms sport the new interior design.

Tsakane Mall just south of Brakpan in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng is due for completion in September 2008. MDS Architecture has designed a contemporary upmarket regional centre which will offer 32,000 m2 of GLA.

Mlimani Conference Centre & Office Park in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, is under construction with the Conference Centre due for completion in December 2008 and the offices in April 2009. MDS Architecture also designed the Mlimani Shopping Centre, one of the largest malls in East Africa, which was completed in 2006.

Bridge City Shopping Centre is part of the exciting Bridge City mixed use development in KwaZulu Natal. MDS Architecture, in association with ADA and Dgit Architects, has designed the 40,000 m2 GLA split level retail centre in Bridge City, which is located over a new railway station terminus. Phase one of the shopping centre is expected to open in November 2009.

Ohio Street office development in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania is an eleven storey office building expected to be completed towards the end of 2009.

Morningside Shopping Centre is a high-end neighbourhood shopping centre that is due for completion in mid 2009. The design is minimalist and contemporary, with high quality architectural detailing specified throughout.

Eastgate Shopping Centre will be getting an outdoor rooftop lifestyle extension, phase one of which is due for completion in mid 2009. The fresh design will create a new outdoor attraction for the popular centre, which is 26 years old, all on the existing roof. It will increase the GLA by 12 000 m2.


Eskom has commissioned MDS Architecture to design its new Offices and Parkade in Gauteng. The design is steeped in the highest environmental standards and construction is due to begin soon.

Flamwood Walk in Klerksdorp is currently being replanned and extended to a regional shopping centre of approx 30 000 sq.m. Construction is due to begin by the end of this year.

Kopanong Shoppping Centre in Mafikeng is a new double level retail centre and is being planned to complement the already completed sister centre known as The Crossing. The Centre will incorporate the North West Taxi Association's head office and a large taxi rank. Construction is due to begin by the end of this year.


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 50 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 http://www.mdsarch.co.za