Ballito Junction

Nestled along KwaZulu-Natal’s North Coast lies Ballito Junction. The original building, a Mediterranean-inspired shopping centre, is being reconfigured and refurbished to create a new mixed-use precinct with flexible workspaces that offers a diverse range of amenities and experiences. The rejuvenated centre will offer retail convenience, outdoor dining options and flexible workspaces when it opens on 30 November 2023. 

Community and functionality 

The refurbishment was conceptualised by MDS Architecture for the owners, Menlyn Maine and Flanagan & Gerard. Pierre Lahaye, a partner at MDS Architecture, says that the design is a contemporary update, while maintaining a focus on community and functionality. “The reimagined development brings a lifestyle element to the broader precinct by offering an outdoor dining node. The aesthetic has been updated to complement the triple-storey, 80 000m² regional mall to which it is connected.” 

Remote workspaces 

For its inaugural venture into KwaZulu-Natal, Workshop17, a leading provider of flexible workspaces, will be housed in the updated Ballito Junction, aligning with the rising demand for mixed-use properties and remote working options. Several Workshop17 office suites overlook the piazza, while others face the mall area, and certain suites have sea views. 

New lifts and a lobby link up to the new mall and provide access-controlled lifts for Workshop17. From above, a screen has been used to demarcate the space and shield services from view. 

Lahaye says: “The concept offers flexibility for businesses and workers, while bringing higher foot traffic to the centre during the week. Restaurants benefit from daytime visitors, and those using Workshop17 overlook the piazza or mall area while enjoying a wide array of convenient options available for meetings and meals.” 

Embracing growth 

 Paul Gerard, managing director of Flanagan & Gerard Group, notes that large volumes of people in higher income brackets, including families semigrating from Gauteng, are relocating to the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal. They are attracted by the quality of life it offers, its world-class secure estate living and its easy regional, national and international access. 

It is this growing movement that inspired the decision to introduce bespoke workspace solutions to the region. “We felt the timing was perfect. Many professionals will now be able to have a high-quality work environment within the North Coast’s premier shopping destination,” says Gerard. 

Piazza area redevelopment 

Ballito Junction

Reconfiguration of the existing restaurant area and the creation of a new restaurant node embrace the popularity of outdoor dining that is characteristic of the area.

Outdoor dining has always been an attraction at Ballito Junction, so one of the significant alterations is the demolition and reconfiguration of the existing restaurant area and the creation of a new restaurant node. This space has been redesigned around a piazza, which entices guests to enjoy the outdoors. A landscaped garden area that criss-crosses between the shops offers an enclosed pause area, complete with indigenous landscaping. 

The courtyard area’s fast food and restaurant dining options open out from the main shopping centre and integrate into the garden area. 

The introduction of darker tones, in contrast to the original lighter palette, gives the space a sophisticated, contemporary feel. The flooring patterns were meticulously designed to maintain continuity with the existing tiles.  

Sustainable approach 

The refurbishment includes remedial works, waterproofing upgrades and the installation of energy-efficient features. By repurposing existing elements and aligning them with modern design principles, Ballito Junction showcases a sustainable approach that balances history with progress. 

This transformation redefines Ballito Junction as a vibrant, multifaceted hub where work, leisure and community coalesce to shape a promising future. 

Issue: Providing work and leisure solutions for a growing local economy.

Solution: A refurbishment of the existing Ballito Junction includes new flexible workspaces, retail and a reimagining of the restaurant areas.

Full acknowledgement and thanks go to…

www.mdsarch.co.za for the information in this editorial.  

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