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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Sandton City Shopping Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa

RTKL to redesign Sandton City Shopping Centre
Africa’s premier shopping destination will soon receive a R1.77 billion ($226 million) face-lift from RTKL, the international architecture, planning, engineering and creative services firm. Opened in 1974 and renovated twice since, the 158,000 sq m Sandton City Shopping Centre is a mixed-use facility comprising over 300 shops, an 11-screen cinema, restaurants, an office tower and hotel.

The client, Liberty Life Properties, selected RTKL based on a design competition of international architects. RTKL will direct the planning and conceptual design of Sandton City’s all-encompassing revitalization, including a 30,000 sq m extension.

“Our efforts are rooted in a desire to reposition Sandton City and transform its long-term vision,” notes Paul Dunn RIBA, a Director in RTKL’s London office. “We are taking a space that is somewhat fragmented and dated and infusing it with a fresh, modern sensibility. Sandton City will soon be a shining example of commercial elegance and sophistication—a testament to successful mixed-use development.”

RTKL’s winning scheme relies on a multi-disciplinary approach to maximize Sandton City’s value and long-term viability. The redevelopment creates a harmonious balance between existing structures and proposed buildings and public spaces. Sensitive to the urban fabric, the proposed plan offers a holistic vision that includes contemporary retail, residential and office components.

Within the retail environment, plaza nodes will serve as transition points, with new environmental graphics and signage to guide customer wayfinding and circulation. Outside, stunning architectural veils will extend from the commercial towers to decrease solar radiation and glare, shade internal courts and atria, and shelter roof gardens. Sustainable technologies will be woven throughout the project to improve water retention, cool buildings, and harness the wind.

To minimize disruption to existing businesses and tenants, the redevelopment of Sandton City utilizes a comprehensive phasing schedule. Upon completion in early 2012, Sandton City promises to be a commanding new landmark with a secure future and a cohesive, distinctive character.
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