The architectural brief was to deliver purpose-fit infrastructure that is aesthetically pleasing, given the facility’s prominence from the adjacent freeway and surrounding neighbourhood. At the same time, the value of the client’s investment would need to be maximised.
The architectural and structural teams collaborated closely to allow function to define form, yet ensure refined aesthetics and a wow-factor to the overall appearance.
“The sheer scale of the facility presented the team with the challenge of blending this mammoth 125000m2 development into its surroundings. Curved lines were introduced for the roofs, mimicking the surrounding rolling hills, and effectively pulling the sides of the building down to a more accessible scale. While reducing the perceived height of the buildings the shapes offer structural and rainwater runoff benefits”, said the principal architect on the project, Niel Marx of SLT Architects.
According to the Shoprite Group media team, environmental considerations were key and a complete environmental impact analysis was conducted and submitted with plan approval to the city. A green building design approach was taken and implemented by the architects.
From a visual perspective, this was to be no ordinary ‘rectangular box’ warehouse project. In response to the client’s environmental considerations, the architects responded by stepping the building on plan as well as on elevation. They hence created a uniquely elegant vista that does not dominate the view from the daily commute on the nearby R300 freeway. In fact, by design, it takes on the form of the distant Durbanville hills.