Gauteng’s new Cradlestone Mall set to attract shoppers from near and far
Issued on behalf of Cara Grobler, General Manager of Cradlestone Mall - Dec 10th, 10:34
On the edge of the Cradle of Humankind, one of eight UNESCO World Heritage sites in South Africa, Cradlestone Mall has been built to serve the needs of the growing residential and business population to the northwest of Johannesburg.
But the 76,000 square metre mall, with nearly 200 stores and 4,500 parking bays, will be a destination in its own right, says Hilton Dukes, Leasing Director of Retail Africa, a co-developer and owner of the mall in conjunction with Sasol Pension Fund and Pivotal Property Fund.
“By the nature of its size, people will be drawn to Cradlestone Mall from near and far,” says Dukes. “It has a great position with great access and visibility, and the building itself really stands out”
Cradlestone Mall stands at the bustling crossroads of Hendrik Potgieter Drive and the R28 highway, and while this imposing super-regional mall is strikingly modern in layout and design, it draws its architectural inspiration from the very origins of the planet.
“From the start we wanted it to be a contemporary design,” explains Jan Loubser, senior partner of Bentels Architects, “but with that little bit of extra differentiation from what is happening elsewhere.”
“The Cradle of Humankind vernacular was the logical differentiator to use as a conceptual anchor.” When the earth ages, says Loubser, it forms layer upon layer of strata that tell a story. “You can actually see the ash of a veld fire that happened thousands of years ago by analysing the layering.”
The architects used this layering of strata as a unique design theme for Cradlestone Mall, from the colouring of the exteriors right through to the jagged, jutting shapes that give the mall its dynamic angular expression.
“When you look at the building,” says Loubser, “you will see these jagged shapes on the facade, the ‘armadillo-style’ roof, ceiling, glazing patterns and logos. It runs subtly through the whole building and ensures that the building responds to its location in a way that has meaning.”
The layering of the floors, ceilings, and façade gives way to a public square and garden area that harks back to primordial forests in design. The heart of the square will be an interactive, public sculpture, paying tribute to humanity’s creative instincts in a playful, tongue-in-cheek way.
These elements make Cradlestone a mall with a powerful sense of place, echoing and interpreting the ancient origins of the Cradle of Humankind through a 21st century kaleidoscope.
“The DNA of the building is true to its setting for those who want to scratch underneath the surface for a deeper meaning,” says Loubser.
He describes the mall as “definitely on par with anything I have seen globally”.
Cradlestone Mal opened its doors on 20 November 2013.
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