Central Square at Menlyn Maine – design and finishes

by Darren
Central Square Menlyn Maine Design finishes

Strolling down the walkways in Central Square at Menlyn Maine is an experience full of surprises, thanks to clever design by dsgn™.

Walking through Central Square at Menlyn Maine, one gets the feeling that you are strolling down a high-end fashion street in a big city. The courtyards, with their greenery and open glass ceilings, reinforce the open, outside feel, and many of the shops and restaurants look out over the open air piazza.

The interior design philosophy was developed by Atsushi Hirata and Neo Neophytou of dsgn™. “The idea was to create a sense of space, air and movement, reminiscent of walking down an open city street” says Judith Dos Santos Serra from dsgn™.

Central Square Menlyn Maine Design finishes2

Bespoke shopfronts
“To couple with that, we decided not to make the shopfronts the same, but to give each outlet its own identity within the framework of the mall colour scheme and finishes. Where we could, we tried to marry the tenants’ CI with that of the overall interior design and managed to get it right in most instances, as many of the tenants came on board with us in designing their shops” she adds.

Central Square Menlyn Maine Design finishes3

Contemporary industrial
To create a stylised, contemporary industrial look, dsgn™ carefully selected materials fit for the look:
•    Corten, a material that will rust over time to look like the raw steel of industrial buildings, on some of the walls and shopfronts.
•    High cottage pane windows in bigger and more dynamic sizes than the traditional ones.
•    Polished stucco by Meroda on bulkheads and shopfronts.
•    Three different brick tile designs were randomly fixed onto the walls and then grout was smeared lightly over them to create a slightly old-world feeling.  
•    Reminiscent of the old parts of London and railway stations, metro tiles were installed on some shopfronts and also used inside certain outlets.
•    Stained oak was used for the slats.
•    Since recycled timber is hard to come by in South Africa, dsgn™ opted for reengineered Oggie floor boards as bulkhead cladding in some parts.

To avoid a sea of uniform ceiling boards a combination of acoustic Gyptone Rigitone ceilings were used together with flush plastered ceilings. Black light strips lead people into the space from outside and help to create points of interest and contrast throughout the mall.
In some areas, a black slatted ceiling system from Hunter Douglas creates a more dynamic impression overhead. Lights are projected into the steel portals to lift the dark space which contrasts against the well-lit shopfronts on either side.

The building shape
Viewed from a distance, Central Square at Menlyn Maine has a unique shape, different than most flat shopping centres. The fascinating roof is clad in Rheinzink, which will age naturally and requires no future maintenance.

“Rheinzink, combined with limestone and black bricks, is kind of a recipe for these high-quality buildings, together with the unusual architecture,” Henk Boogertman, architectural director of Menlyn Maine Investment Holdings, said.

Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to Central Square Menlyn Maine and dsgn™for the information given to write this article.


Caption 1:
The contemporary industrial design makes it feel like one might be walking into a factory.

Caption 2:
Stained oak was used for the slats.

Caption 3:
Metro tiles inside the Old Town Italy restaurant and shop.

You may also like