• Mall of Africa set to open in Waterfall, Gauteng in 2016

    Mall of Africa is scheduled to open its doors in April 2016 in the heart of Waterfall City, Gauteng. The massive 131 000mshopping mall is the crown jewel in South Africa’s newest and rapidly developing commercial and shopping destination, Waterfall. The mall, with its estimated completed value at opening of ZAR4.5 billion, will combine significant scale with innovative architectural design to set a new benchmark for malls on the continent. Mall of Africa is the largest first completion phase mall completed in a single phase.

    Morne Wilken, CEO of Attacq Limited, says of the innovative mall design by Tia Kanakakis from MDS Architecture: ‘Mall of Africa has been designed as the heart of an easily accessible city where people can work, live and play. We expect the Mall of Africa to have a very different ambience to any other shopping malls due to the fact that this destination was planned as an integral component in the wider pedestrianised city design of Waterfall City.’

    Mall of Africa is set to be a major catalyst for further growth in the greater Waterfall mega development node. Attacq Limited owns 80% of Mall of Africa while Atterbury Property Holdings, Attacq’s appointed developer, currently owns the remaining 20%. Wilken explains that designing a mall of this size in a single phase creates a seamless flow with its surroundings, which is difficult to replicate in malls that expand in several extension phases. The first phase of Mall of Africa competes favourably with some of the largest completed multi-phase expanded mall developments on the continent, and indeed the southern hemisphere.

    Mall of Africa will create a unique Gauteng destination experience for local shoppers and tourists alike. It is a regional shopping and lifestyle destination that is intended to serve the large and growing community as part of Gauteng’s newest city in the making, Waterfall.

    Demand for retail space in the mall so far has been very positive. Currently more than 90% of the 300-store mall has already been let to famous international brands as well as premium South African retailers. ‘Some of the anchor tenants that have been secured include Woolworths, Edgars, Checkers and Truworths as well as international brands H&M, Hackett, Hamleys, Juicy Couture and 7’s for All Mankind, to name just a few,’ says Wilken.

    Mall of Africa’s design is based on creating an exterior aesthetic that will give the entrances, parkades and retail stores their own architectural identities. Throughout the mall, shop fronts feature high spaces with lots of natural light. The various areas in the mall take their inspiration from Africa’s natural features and landscapes, but interpreted in a very contemporary way. Designated identifiable court areas enable easy shopper navigation through the mall with its natural light features and spacious circulation layout.

    Each shopping court has been given its own identity with a similar look and feel in texture, colour and materials. The great lakes of Africa inspired the Great Lakes Court while the Oleum Court draws its inspiration from the West African oil-producing regions, sporting bold colours and dramatic patterns. The Sand Court combines desert tones, soft contours and colours of the North African desert region with unique features and motifs found in that architectural style. The mineral wealth of Southern Africa is celebrated by the Crystal Court, with strong geometric patterns reminiscent of crystals and diamonds.

    The central spine of the Mall of Africa resembles the rain forests of Central Africa and is aptly named the Forest Walk.  With its tropical foliage, the Forest Walk is the core of Africa’s landmark mall, underneath the massive and dramatic environmentally roof covering. The roof feature is said to be the largest of its kind in the world and spectacular lighting design will add more drama for those visiting the Mall of Africa after dusk.

    The mall will boast unsurpassed experience features like the huge food court that opens up into a central park area three times the size of a rugby field, with an impressive interactive water organ as one of its many attractions.

    In the design of Mall of Africa, harmony with the environment was also a key consideration. ‘The mall will have one of the biggest photovoltaic installations of any South African mall to date,’ says Cobus van Heerden, retail director of Atterbury. The innovative design will further conserve energy through efficient lighting design and state-of-the-art air conditioning. The mall takes national and regional challenges into account and will benefit from full generator back-up power complemented by own solar energy generation. ‘The goal was to build a mall that can be open to the public regardless of the power challenges around it. In terms of water, rain water will be harvested and used extensively,’ says Van Heerden.

    The convenient location just off Gauteng’s arterial N1 freeway with easy access from Gauteng’s other cities and airports truly sets both Waterfall and Mall of Africa apart. Visitors will benefit from convenient parking in more than 6 500 parking bays located across its footprint.

    17 June 2015