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Celebrating the shopping experience


Durban, South Africa

HLM Africa won this invited competition to propose a refurbishment for a regional retail mall in Durban. Completed almost 25 years previously, the interior design was outdated and in need of a facelift.

HLM Africa believe that the creation of a successful retail environment is reliant on more than just the delivery of products and services - individual atmosphere and an exceptional customer experience are critical factors. Retail spaces need to be carefully differentiated from competitors to support visual identity and brand recognition. Spaces need to be welcoming, liberating and enjoyable, whilst maintaining clear sight lines and ensuring a design that complements the range of tenant fit-outs and tenant signage.

The design is set as an abstract representation of the outside world, capturing the textures and atmospheres of nature and integrating these into the experience of the internal environment. The design direction was geared towards simplifying the details and junctions, removing the embellished fittings and replacing them with a cleaner aesthetic, fresher lighting, restrained detailing and honest materiality. The scheme embraces the theatrical, with emphasis being placed on the atrium spaces with artwork and sculptural installations. Technology is also integrated to support temporary exhibitions, advertising, information and wayfinding.

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