MDS Architecture has designed a new shopping centre which will be located on a prominent site adjacent to the N3 in Alexandra which is scheduled to open to the public at the end of March 2017. Located 6 km from the Sandton CBD, Alex Mall is being developed by McCormick Property Development in association with Valumax. Louis Pretorius is the partner at MDS Architecture heading the project. “The site is just off the London Road turnoff on the N3. Once completed, Alex Mall will offer almost 30 000 m2 GLA. A large percentage of construction labour is local, so there is job creation during construction,” he says.
The top floor of Alex Mall features two soccer pitches in an Action Soccer facility, which is expected to be a major attraction. A food court is situated around the main entrance, including a covered outdoor section. A large taxi rank is situated on the lower level under the slab, helping to ensure that the development meets the growing needs of the surrounding community.
The main entrance to Alex Mall is off the busy London Road. The building features high ceilings with an abundance of natural light and interior landscaping, which give Alex Mall a spacious feeling. To engender a sense of pride in the township, the demising columns between the shops will feature prints telling the story of the history of Alexandra.
Pretorius says: “Natural light has been maximised throughout the mall and in all the courts through clerestory windows, reducing the need for artificial lighting for a pleasant shopping experience that also reduces the need for too much additional heating,” he says. Rainwater harvesting has been included in the mall’s design. There is an attenuation pond for storm water as well as a series of tanks that take water back into the storage facility, where it is filtered and pumped to the main pressure tank situated over 30m above the lower levels of the mall, allowing for gravity-fed pressurisation of the system.
Alex Mall also includes waterless urinals to further increase water efficiency, which also helps to reduce operational costs. Alex Mall will feature two supermarket anchor tenants, Pick n Pay and Shoprite. Over 85% of the mall has been let to a mix of other national retailers.
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