Architects & Builders – Whale Coast Mall

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Situated in the seaside town Hermanus in the Western Cape, Whale Coast Mall was designed by Bentel Associates International (Bentel) as a regional centre that focuses on convenience for customers. Whale Coast Mall is located in a highly visible position on the R43 in Sandbaai, which lies at the entrance to the picturesque Hemel-en-Aarde Valley in Hermanus. Offering 80 stores, this A-grade centralised retail hub provides stress-free shopping and entertainment for the whole family.

Brief

The brief from the clients was to design a Mall that fills a niche in the market previously unoccupied, as well as not competing with existing retail to the detriment of all. The undoubted success of the development during its operating time has underlined this crucial factor.FeaturesWhale Coast Mall offers safe shopping combined with restrained contemporary architecture and striking visual focus points making it the best shopping and leisure experience in the Overberg region. With 4 easy access entrances, 2 lifts, 2 escalators, full facilities for the disabled and lots of convenient parking one is effortlessly able to navigate through the 30,000m2 mall.

The architecture is light, airy, contemporary and pleasant with no architectural features competing for attention with the retail displays. The crucial factor is in providing an amenity that fulfils a need previously not catered for.Originally designed and budgeted for as an open but covered centre without air-conditioning – the prevailing weather necessitated a re-think and all consultants had to work together to convert it to a fully air-conditioned environment within the existing budget without compromising finishes or overall ambiance. This was difficult to achieve as the relatively small size did not allow for excessive aesthetic treatment – the cost of which is easier to absorb on larger projects. The fact that it can hold its own in the appearance stakes given the limited budget is quite exceptional. Select works were undertaken by local community. The contractor employed labour from the area. A community project was lodged whereby children from the community created glass mosaics for the male/female ablutions that were installed in the mall.

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