Pro Landscaper October Issue 2020

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O C T O B E R 2 0 2 0 - R E TA I L I S S U E

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Welcome to the October issue of Pro Landscaper Africa, In this issue we look at retail developments and we showcase some of the most successful spaces across the country. We begin the issue by publishing SA’s first living billboard which has been designed for Shoprite Checkers’ Little Garden initiative. We then introduce an article written by Christa Otto from COTTONTREE which covers the topic of Retail Gardening. Bertha Wium Landscape Development chats to us about designing and implementing play spaces in retail developments, using their different projects across SA as case studies and Julian Bartels from Best Landscaping speaks on planting palettes for retail spaces. Life Landscapes also point out the all-important maintenance aspects of retail developments. Our interview this month is an exciting one, as it introduces Contours Design Studio to our audience. October’s projects include: Republic on Ferndale; Ballito Junction Mall; Whale Coast Mall and newly completed Stimela Crossing. Our inspire section looks at restaurants and courtyards in retail developments and showcases workable ideas for the design mind in these spaces. We are full steam ahead with plans on FutureScape Africa Expo which will be held on the 5th of March 2021 and we are looking forward to a busy and exciting season ahead with plans for our Coffee Table Book well underway. @prolandscaperafrica

Enjoy the read.

@Pro Landscaper Africa

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Greenstone mall JHB

Sandton City Ferndale on Republic JHB

Rosebank Succulent wall

Stadium on Main CT





08 – Landscape Architects Journal

By Sandra Zaroufis


– Checkers Living Billboard By Vasha Thakur from Living Green Walls


- Retail Gardening By Christa Otto from COTTONTREE


20 – Landscaping in retail

and commercial spaces By Julian Bartels from Best Landscaping

23 –Product Focus: Rain Bird


Contours Design Studio




- Republic on Ferndale By MDS Architecture, Daniel Rebel Landscape Architects and FSG Property Services




Pizzeria Casuale – By Roby Macedo Arquitetura e Design DomNato Bakery By Livre arquitetura

58 N U RT


Maintaining Mall Gardens – by Kate Morris from Life Landscapes Product Focus: Stihl -


Product Focus: John Deere -



26 – An interview with:


Stimela Crossing – By Boogertman + Partners


24 – Profiled: Designer Pool Covers


Whale Coast Mall – By Bentel and Associates, JLDesign and JDV Landscape Studio


– Let’s Play By Bertha Wium Landscape Development


Ballito Junction by MDS Architecture, Uys & White and Countryline Horticulture


‘Waar is iGolide eGoli?’ Applying revelatory design and phytoremediation in the mine-waste-affected community of Riverlea

The Unseen

The Seen

By Sandra Zaroufis, 2019 Master of Landscape Architecture student from the University of Cape Town. ‘Waar is iGolide eGoli?’ is a phrase that combines Afrikaans and isiZulu/isiXhosa and translates to: “Where is the gold in the city of gold?” A question I often ask myself when observing the inequalities of our country. The City of Johannesburg emerged from the “discovery” of gold in 1886. Today the emanating spatial layout is that of a divided city, rife with environmental issues and injustices. As the legacy of colonialism and apartheid lingers, wealth and green landscapes are concentrated in the north, whilst poverty and dusty landscapes characterise the south of Johannesburg. Riverlea, a previously ‘coloured’ community, north-east of Soweto and southwest of Johannesburg CBD, is surrounded by mine dumps. The mine dumps affect people’s respiratory health and pollute the air, water and soils with heavy metals, as well as attract illegal mining.


The research explores three main categories – the seen, the hidden and the in-between. Mine dumps, large mounds of pale-yellow sand and landmarks of Johannesburg form the seen. The current approach to mine waste is through conventional mine rehabilitation. However, this project proposes a phytoremediation approach. Phytoremediation is the use of plants to absorb, stabilise or breakdown metal contaminants. In this proposal, the process is community-driven, from scientific experimentation to maintenance. Illegal mining occurs in the extensive underground tunnel network, functioning like a hidden underground city. The hidden layer of underground tunnels and geology form the foundation of the proposed design, as the negative association with the tunnels is transformed into a positive experience at the surface, through spaces and materials that transform the focus area into an inviting public space. The in-between is formed by community needs and values. This is critical to the study, and is strongly influenced by community interviews and engagements, as the

design seeks to enhance the quality of life in Riverlea by providing recreational, educational and economic opportunities. This project is a possible intervention, but also displays the special ability of landscape architecture to combine various ways of thinking. The seen – an indirect, direct approach to mine dumps The initial expectations of the thesis were about intervening directly on the mine dumps. However, through site analysis, the chosen area for intervention emerged from the intense linear concentration of activities (geology, pedestrian movement, schools, open space, recreational fields, safety and spatial division created by the railway). The proposed intervention exists in a larger phytoremediation framework proposal for all of the contaminated open spaces. Water quality is improved through floating wetlands, water diversion and treatment. Existing public spaces are enhanced and maintained using phytoremediation and revealing the hidden mining history. The multipurpose park proposal


experience inspired use of pine-coated timbre and rusted steel. Mine dump waste is used in the rammed earth seating and retaining walls. Even the shape of the nursery mimics that of the dyke (geological structure). This revelatory design strategy raises awareness about the unseen and now delivers positive spaces.

Multipurpose Phytoremediation Public Space

The in-between – community engagement The community knows their struggles and needs better than anyone else. Understanding this helps the designer to inspire a contextappropriate vision. Discussions with the community showed that nature is perceived as something different and separate from Riverlea, found in the wilderness and botanical gardens. Thus, there is an opportunity to rekindle the community’s connection to nature. Secondly, Sports and play spaces are functions that the community values – as such, the existing recreational fields are maintained and enhanced in the proposal, while conventional park elements such as gym, play and braai areas are included. In this project, phytoremediation is dependent on community cohesion and capacity of the community centre and surrounding schools’ stewardship.

occurs on a large open space, forming the main node of the framework, with an experimental field and plant nursery for the sustenance of phytoremediation. The experimental field responds to the need for continual sample collection and testing when applying phytoremediation to a site. The concentration of different metals in the soil impacts the plants’ ability to absorb various elements and compounds – a phenomenon known as bioavailability. Secondly, plant species have different tolerances, thus specialist knowledge and research is required to sustain the process. The nursery provides a source of material to not only maintain, but expand remediation across the site. The proposal is a precedent of how the combination of phytoremediation and public space design could extend throughout the entire mining-belt over time. Revealing the unseen About 3,000 million years ago, the Gauteng province was a large inland sea in which deposits mineralised over time, forming the gold-bearing rock layer known as the

Witwatersrand supergroup. Due to the tilt of this geological layer, to access the gold, vertical tunnels – commonly referred to as mine shafts – were created. Horizontal access tunnels followed, creating an extensive tunnel network. The ‘Langlaagte Estate & G.M. Co. Ltd. Plan of workings as of 31 December 1938’ map, shows the particular structure of this hidden network under the Riverlea suburb. Through georeferencing this map, much was revealed about the site and inspired the design. The feared, illegal mining hotspots were identified as mine shaft points. The proposal reveals the underground through literal and metaphoric translations onto the space. Certain structures such as pathways and the retaining wall occur directly above tunnels, which increase in depth as one moves south of the site. The revealed tunnels match the required spatial linkages based on pedestrian circulation and proposed programmes. The proposed braai shelters are sunken by a metre, alluding to moving underground and evoking a similar sense of enclosure. The tunnel

Certain fibrous plants here, such as bamboo, hemp and flax, can be used to manufacture products with an economic value, such as fabrics, building material, oils and pharmaceuticals. This could create job opportunities and financially sustain the project. The community has a strong awareness of the mining challenges, and fights for their rights through agencies such as the Riverlea Mining Forum NGO. Conclusion The historical, social and environmental damage of mining in Johannesburg cannot be undone, but merely mitigated. Phytoremediation is one of many methods through which the impact of mine waste can be reduced. Through applying landscape architecture in mine rehabilitation, the significance of the integration of science, history, community and spatial design is expressed. Johannesburg could be more in touch with its history and problems through the revelation of the illusive, threatening underground tunnel network and toxicity of this environment. Perhaps we should've been wearing masks long before COVID-19. For Riverlea, this is a constant battle. Mining companies still seek to re-mine the area, even at the cost of people’s health and natural ecosystems. Community-driven phytoremediation is a possible solution, however, the challenge of mine dumps is complex and there is more to it than meets the eye.






Here we grow again by Vasha Thakur, Living Green Walls


n celebration of Spring, Living Green Walls, in collaboration with Checkers South Africa, installed an eco-friendly edible billboard, the first of its kind, located on the corner of Rivonia and Grayston Drive, within the grounds of Sandown High School in Sandton. The billboard went live on August 25 to commemorate the national launch of the Checkers Little Shoppers 2 campaign. The campaign is aimed at encouraging South African citizens to grow their own products to live healthy and self-sustaining lives. While being eco-friendly and self-sustaining is no new concept to the team at Living Green Walls – the idea of a living billboard is! This fresh concept required their Johannesburg team to work around the clock to execute. Using the Modular Vertical Garden (MVG) system, the team were able to take the Little Shoppers counter-top garden collection and raise it 9.0 meters off the ground where it is visible to the general public. The billboard consists entirely of locally sourced edible plants that can be found in the Little Shoppers collection including; bok choy, geranium, purple kale, white kale, garden spinach and flat leaf parsley. The watering system consists of built in irrigation lines that are connected to the rails that the MVG pockets are secured on. This, together with water tanks and a submersible pump, ensure the entire garden stays irrigated. Living Green Walls' vertical garden systems are all locally manufactured and consist of recycled materials that make them environmentally friendly and also help to lower the carbon footprint of the buildings and spaces they are installed in. These systems are ideal for indoor or outdoor applications and are custom built to suit the client’s needs. This project was an effort to encourage consumers to live the eco-friendly values shared by Living Green Walls and Checkers, while adding a unique, green twist to traditional marketing campaigns. The Living Green billboard is scheduled to be deconstructed at the beginning of October.



Vertical green screen with balanced combination of natural light and privacy

RETAIL GARDENING By Christa Otto, Landscape Architect and Owner of COTTONTREE

Commercial, and especially retail landscapes, have always had an interesting angle as they have to tick ALL the boxes, typically with a brief like this: “A manicured, low maintenance evergreen garden, that fits into the budget with pops of colour. Also, instant effect, lots of shade, no thorns and waterwise. No aggressive roots. And frost hardy. And environmentally friendly and indigenous.” With this wishlist, the extensive brief narrows the plant palette down to a very unfortunate and almost generic list per location or climate, and at the end of the project ALL the people at the site office knows what aggies and white stinkwood means. This was BC, Before Corona – COVID-19, levels, lockdown, masks and hand sanitizers, aka hanitizers. The reset-button has been pushed: retail and commercial buildings have navigated through a very difficult storm over the past 8 months. The 2020 vision that we all had at New Year has definitely blurred out of focus, reset and recalibrated with new priorities.


Furthermore, if this year has taught us anything, it is that some balls will be dropped – and deciding which ball(s) will fall, will be the goal. During the planning and design phase, there are different priorities from the various trades. The engineer has loads to carry, while the Quantity Surveyor (QS), knowing both sides of each coin, has to budget for the high-end finishes while all of this is planned to sit on a newly cast slab for a green rooftop. The complications are that the plants, (like all living things) grow, need attention, maintenance, and inevitably die. There are challenges like the drought, budget and vandalism – just by small interactions with cleaning chemicals, footsteps of pedestrians and cars driving over sprinklers. (Or tenants watering the plants at their respective shopfronts!). SOLUTION STRATEGY: Here are some pointers that can help to focus on the balls that should not be dropped (and that has an influence on most of the stakeholders):


1. Going underground If we explore the cost that is not ‘visible’ on opening day, such as cultivation, topsoil, compost, irrigation and soil preparation, it easily adds up to about R75/m2. For a higher-end finish, this becomes 15% of the softscape budget per area, and for a low-end finish adds up to half of the budget. Takeaway #1: plan and budget for preparation underground.

Evergreen trees in parking lot for screening only, creating no shade

2. Buying more time There are very few instances where we can literally buy time. But, with trees, and especially trees planted in large hard surface areas (so close to buildings or typically in parking lots), this is true. The typical line or S-curves with growth over time does not apply in this case. Plan, and budget to plant the biggest trees possible in the parking lots – these areas are always neglected and not only have the first live interaction with the users, but an actual impact on their direct environment. Furthermore, these areas are mostly difficult because the ground has been compacted, there is always some building rubble left somewhere and usually done last-minute, so the plan to plant small trees there and hope that this will grow is not a great plan. Takeaway #2: budget for LARGE parking or entrance trees. 3. Build on the “ownerSHOP” Include the restaurants, schools or community – ask if there are any specific planting palettes or edible species that can be included. This will add to the sense of place and ownership of the retail complex. For example, if there is a Greek restaurant close by, consider Olive trees, or lemon trees near Seafood restaurants. Do not forget hydroponics, vertical gardening and pots for herbs. Takeaway #3: crowdsourcing is key. 4. Bang for buck To get the best value or return on the investment on a practical level, plant some ‘inexpensive everyday’ plant species that have a longer lifespan with some seasonal colour or ‘pop’ at feature or priority areas only. ‘Keep a treat, a treat’ and plant the feature plants at feature areas only, but make it worth the effort. Takeaway #4: More ounce for your bounce. 5. What you see is what you get Look for the VIEW that potential users and customers will have of the retail area (including the road verge, roundabout or neighboring servitude) as these areas are often overlooked and ignored. A large embankment next to a highway can become an advertisement, and forms part of the first impression. Takeaway #5: Judge the books cover.

Entrance feature to bring the building down to human scale

Manicured road verge included in scope of work with neat but low-end finish



The biggest difference between retail and residential is the personal factor with a variety of lifestyles, likes and dislikes and a lot of stakeholders. Stakeholders include the developer, shopper, tenant, designer, facilities maintenance teams, leasing agents and even parking attendees. The stakeholders have different priorities as well. The developer wants highimpact, high-end finish and “needs to look nice”. The designer wants to make his mark, the Facilities Maintenance team needs to maintain this and the engineer needs to carry his load on the roof garden – all of these are valid concerns, and to discern and filter this, a Venn-diagram (pictured below), can be used to motivate and prioritise areas. Be careful not to have a one-size-fits-all solution – because with this in the end it fits no one and you have a one-size-fits-nobody product. Carefully plan to accommodate and prioritise the different needs of the stakeholders.

6. Mixed media Do not be afraid to off-set areas of high intensity planting with value planting or rehabilitation. Feature or sculptural planting can be planted against backdrops of evergreen planting or even faux climbers or astro. Takeaway #6: expand the material variety. Let’s hope that the time period following the hard-reset button, After Corona (AC), sharpens our vision to be more responsible, resilient and creative in the landscaping of retail and private gardens, especially with the planting palette and long-term planning and planting.

Large trees in the parking extend the shopping canopy

Tree sizes comparison – ask help from a specialist

VENN diagram to find where different needs of the stakeholders overlap

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Woodlands Boulevard

LET’S PLAY The art of designing and implementing children’s play areas at shopping malls – by Bertha Wium Landscape Development



Pro Landscaper catches up with Bertha Wium Landscape Development to chat about their design approach to shopping mall play areas and explore their perspective using case studies, supported by the viewpoint of major property developers of these malls.

The design vision for each shopping mall is based on the location of the mall; the architectural design of the surrounding buildings; and the shopping centre's theme. The climate of the area where the mall is situated dictates the provision for shade and the choice of materials. The treatment of materials is important especially in areas with extreme weather conditions. The approach to a play area on slab necessitates in-depth design detail and engineer specifications will be advisable due to the added weight of the play structures. The fixing and anchoring of the play equipment is important due to severe tension and the ‘high traffic’ on to the play equipment.

The flooring of a play area is an important element from a safety aspect. The thickness of the shock pad of the rubberised flooring is determined by the critical fall height of the play element in its immediate vicinity. We prefer the EPDM rubberising finish with its colourfast, vibrant colours for the final layer, while standard on-site coloured rubberising also has its place. The allocated space for the play area dictates the placement of the play elements – the action of each element determining its position. Entering into a play element and exiting from a play element is taken into consideration and is detrimental to the flow of the overall play area. The play area should be a separate entity but visually appealing to the surrounding environment. Full visibility from the restaurant areas will draw many restaurant visitors and re-energise the food court areas. Benches surrounding the space can provide close-by seating for parents of smaller children. Lighting also plays an important role and our design

input to the lighting consultants has resulted in the perfect ambience. Greening up of the area through surrounding planting in open ground, pots and onto additional structures (creeper climber frames and pergolas) add to the sense of space. Greening up of the area is not essential for a play area that has an exciting theme and is portrayed using vibrant colours. The Woodlands Boulevard Play area The Play Area design concept at Woodlands Boulevard in Garsfontein Road, Pretoria, extended the 'Woodlands' theme through the use of majestic Liquidambar trees, with their upright stems integrated into the play area. The upright vertical wooden poles of the play equipment echoed the multiple tree stems. The mounds simulate nature hills and undulations. This design concept was envisioned in association with Cornelia King Landscape Architect.

Ballito Junction



The colour choices of the EPDM rubberised flooring echoes nature in hues of green with the vibrant accents of orange added to mimic the autumn leaves of the Liquidambar trees. In the words of the Marketing Manager of Woodlands Boulevard, on behalf of Hyprop Investments Limited, in recent times, their focus has shifted to: "Experiential shopping. Kids play areas form a large part of this experience and tend to activate a particular space and create a sense of community where families can relax and peacefully enjoy a meal, or a simple break in between shopping. Play areas have proven to be a necessary amenity and they tend to welcome family shoppers, attract higher foot traffic, impact dwell time and in turn contribute to mall turnover. Play areas repurpose dull areas into interactive spaces with quality long-lasting and unique equipment which enriches the innate need for one to socialise." The Ballito Junction Play area The Ballito Junction Regional Mall play area embodies an animated ocean theme. The main element is a steel-framed whale fitted with wooden slats, which was manufactured from a 3D computerised model. The animated whale is made up of a huge whale head allowing for play inside, creating the experience of being swallowed. The whale head protrudes from a high mound, simulating a large wave, with the steel frame tail end disappearing into the wave. The strong animation theme is carried through with the whale head lifting a small boat out of the water. This small boat can be accessed by climbing grips up the side of the high wave and a spiral slide gives a route down. The design vision was in collaboration with Landscape Architect Cornelia King, with contributions from Woodsman as a subcontractor to Bertha Wium Landscape Development for the manufacturing and installation of the whale structure.

Woodlands Boulevard

Wonderboom Junction

The EPDM colours simulate the various blues of the ocean, including white strips mimicking the foam of breaking of waves. A sand colour section gives a sense of a beach. Wonderboom Junction Play area Zelda de Beer, representing Redefine Properties Limited, describes their outdoor play park at Wonderboom Junction, Pretoria as including: "lush lawns and surrounding nature as a draw card" to their food court. The setting of the play park borders the nature reserve of the Apies River, north of the Magaliesberg and in close proximity to the iconic Wonderboom at the foot of the mountain.


Ballito Junction


The play area in the new exciting play park features a huge dinosaur of a 6m approximate height. The architect, Lood Welgemoed of Lood Studio, visualised the dinosaur with its head on the upper deck of the restaurant area. Its open jaw allows for children to climb in and slide down the 13m stainless steel tube slide, forming the neck of the dinosaur, ending in the large sand pit area in which the dinosaur is standing. The neck and tail extend over a green rubberised area. Lood’s vision allowed for the statement of one big element with various activities. The main body structure is a built-up of modular sections, elevated onto a first and second level of decking, Various climbing cargo nets make up these modular sections, linking laterally and vertically. The steel framed body is covered with triangular shade netting sections creating the skin of the dinosaur providing shade for the activities underneath. The paint colour of the steel is a bright green, with charcoal and grey netting, these scales extend for a short distance

onto the neck and tail. The steel frame structure was manufactured from a 3D computerised model and due to the size of the dinosaur, sections were assembled on site. The restaurant deck area was extended and linked with a wide, impressive staircase leading down to a lower level restaurant deck. A secondary lower deck allows for adjacent seating for parents at the play area level. A series of pergolas provide overhead structures to decking areas. Netted fairy lights are fitted under the pergolas, creating a magical world. Fairy lights on the dinosaur accentuates the skeletal structure, these fairy lights can vary in colour and are able to create multicolours simultaneously, with the colours changing in such a way as to create lighting patterns. The development of the design was under the leadership of Lood, with design contribution by Bertha Wium Landscape Development and Woodsman. Woodsman was responsible for the

construction and installation of the dinosaur. All areas and elements of the above-mentioned play areas, were constructed with the involvement of specialist subcontractors to Bertha Wium Landscape Development, each hand picked for their area of expertise. Key suppliers to Bertha Wium Landscape Development: • • • •

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ommercial properties such as retail malls, office space, and mixed-use developments will consider several factors in their landscaping decision-making. Important considerations include budgets, particularly following the COVID-19 pandemic; irrigation in the context of water scarcities; legislation; and selections of plant varieties which will be most effective in meeting their objectives.


By Julian Bartels of Best Landscaping.


A beautifully-landscaped garden in a retail or commercial development needs to take factors such as aesthetic beauty, human impact, directing foot and vehicular traffic, safety considerations, and social integration into account.

Recommendations for retail When the development of a retail shopping complex or environment is considered, one is likely to take factors such as branding and aesthetically pleasing displays into account to enhance a shopper’s experience and to stimulate spending. Equally important, however, is to also consider the significance of the landscaped environment, as it is naturally nurturing and powerful to the human experience. The customer’s shopping experience has long since moved away from enclosed, glass, metal, and stone retail stores and malls. Research has been conducted since the 70s pointing to the need and benefit of nature to be integrated into the daily human experience. One of the overriding pieces of evidence shows that environments showcasing greenery and natural elements are, “… consistently preferred over non-green urban settings, or environments dominated by artefacts,” (Joye, et al. 2010). The power of plants in a retail environment need not be confined to the stores themselves, instead the landscaped environment should be designed in a way that directs foot traffic and provides shoppers with a relaxing place to recoup and connect socially. While the recent rains, in particularly the Western Cape, have resulted in a level of drought relief, the drought conditions of the last few years have stimulated discussions in the landscaping industry about the increasing use of ‘resilient’ plants, as opposed to using only indigenous or endemic varieties – i.e. what will be aesthetically pleasing and will also survive. Fynbos, with its many pioneer specimen plants (Euryops ssp., Pelargonium, Salvia, and the smaller Asteraceae) will continue to gain


prominence in landscaped gardens, whether for retail, commercial, or residential spaces . Recommendations for commercial As online social networks continue to increase in popularity, it is important for commercial developments to integrate social green spaces where people are able to meet, brainstorm, and connect socially so that they are not confined to their office cubicles for eight hours of the day. Green roofs certainly are not a new trend, but roof terraces are growing in popularity as pleasant green spaces where people can ‘get away’ and re-energise. They also effectively re-integrate nature into hard cityscapes, help clean air pollution, and prevent rainwater runoff from flooding sewer systems. In buildings where space is a real issue, vertical landscaping should also be a consideration. Vertical gardens are still a relatively new phenomenon, and can make a design statement, even in a small area. Lawns remain ever-popular in creating welcoming entrances for commercial properties, and thanks to innovative irrigation alternatives, such lawns can remain green and lush all year round. General recommendations: Celebrate ‘local’ with fynbos-dominant gardens Water scarcity has allowed South African landscapers to experiment with the integration of

Fynbos-dominant gardens, which makes it possible to have a year-round garden which is specifically suited to climatic and water conditions. This is in direct contrast to European pre-mixed palettes for urban use. Silbersommer, or low-maintenance garden planting, which is a German plant mixture, uses researched perennials in planting combinations. These are pre-grown plant palettes which are readily available and easily adjustable to adapt to maintained commercial landscapes. In a South African context, the idea is to develop similar pre-grown plant palettes or combinations, but using Fynbos. Plant palettes such as Ton-Ter-Linden can be considered, but integrating Fynbos in local scenarios. Silbersommer planting is most suitable for road verges and pavements, to name a few, where the conditions are often extremely dry for significant parts of the day. It is entirely possible to achieve inspired and imaginative effects in drought and budget-conscious gardens with species such as Strelitzia nicolai, Rhumora adiantiformis, Carissa “Green Carpet” and a Liriope to create a tropical style garden; or Salvia africana/caerulea, Searsia crenata, Pelargonium capitatum, Iris ssp, Zantedeschia aethiopica, and Gazania rigens plant varieties for coastal landscapes. The ‘new normal’ in a landscaping context would be a focus on drought resilience rather than purely on indigenous or endemic.

Plant varieties, such as Pelargonium, Plectranthus, and many succulents, have proven their ability to thrive in extreme conditions – often under salt spray, shallow soil and (very) little water – and should continue to be a strong consideration. These plants are known to do particularly well in rooftop gardens and difficult climatic conditions all over the world. Recommended books with extensive plant lists are available, i.e. Marijke Honig, Indigenous plant palettes and Ernst v Jaarsveld, Waterwise gardening. During my thesis 10 years ago, I researched the feasibility of creating plant mixtures that will thrive and sustain themselves in public, commercial and retail spaces, and have been able to integrate my findings into my projects today. It is my passion to promote naturalistic, designed gardens that will sustain and add real value to retail, commercial and residential landscapes alike. 071 567 9775




Program A


Program B

Program C

Custom Name

Frequency Odd








Seasonal Adjust





Start Times 22:00

5:00 Zone Duration

Zone 1


4 hrs 30 min


9V Battery Controller

Install anywhere. Program from your smartphone.

Control from a Smartphone

Control up to 6 Valves

Vandal Proof

9V Battery Powered

Password Lockable


THE RAIN BIRD TBOS-BT 9V BATTERY CONTROLLER Rain Bird has introduced the TBOS-BT, a Bluetooth-enabled, 9V-battery-operated controller that allows users to wirelessly manage irrigation at sites without electrical power via a mobile app for both Android and iOS devices. “Like its predecessors, the TBOS and TBOS II, the TBOS-BT is ideal for commercial and municipal applications, like parks, street medians and roundabouts, as well as construction projects where AC power is not available,” said Hugh Doran, associate product manager for Rain Bird. “TBOS-BT adds Bluetooth connectivity, allowing irrigation managers to create and manage programs without even opening a valve box.” Designed to resist heat, humidity and harsh environments, the TBOS-BT is rated IP68, meaning it’s 100-percent waterproof and fully submersible. Its tamper-proof design makes it ideal for public installations where vandalism and tampering is a risk. Available in one-, two-, fouror six-station models, the TBOS-BT runs off a single 9V alkaline battery. The controller works with Rain Bird’s TBOS latching solenoid, and a direct rain sensor connection accommodates the Rain Bird RSD rain sensor for enhanced water efficiency. “The mobile app provides irrigation managers with a number of useful options,” Doran said.

“Users can lock controllers with a passcode, save, view, clear and restore up to three irrigation programs, each of which can have up to eight start times per day. Monthly Seasonal Adjust of 0-300 percent alleviates the need to re-visit sites throughout the year to make program changes. Users can also save and restore a TBOS backup program, or save a program as a contractor default, allowing them to easily replicate programs across multiple controllers. And, the TBOS-BT retains its irrigation programs in memory even when its battery is removed and replaced.”

5 Reasons why you should switch to the TBOS-BT today ! 1. Program with a Smartphone • Use Rain Bird free mobile app and Bluetooth connection for programming • Set runtime to automatically adjust by month • Check controller battery life on the Rain Bird app 2. Flexible Programming • Runtime from 1 minute to 12 hours • 3 Programs with flexible days including custom, odd, even and 1-6 day program cycles • 8 Start times per program per day • Simultaneous start times or sequential depending on system hydraulics 3. Valve Compatibility • TBOS latching solenoid compatible with all Rain Bird valves such as DV,PGA,PEB • TBOS solenoid adaptors will adapt latching solenoid for use in retrofit application with non-Rain Bird valves 4. Backwardly compatible with the TBOS II Field Transmitter 5. Three year trade warranty



Automated Vinyl Cover


Profiled: Designer Pool Covers


ost of us who own a pool, or are considering building one, know the joys and tribulations it comes with. It seems like the maintenance is never ending. Installing a pool cover is not just for safety but offers added benefits to keeping your pool beautifully clean and ready for summer frolicking.


Designer Pool Covers have been the trend setters and industry leaders in the supply and installation of Automatic and Manual Pool Covers in South Africa since 2012 with industry experience of over 10 years. As their delighted owners and existing clients have already discovered – their pool covers are the finest, safest and easiest-to-use pool covers on the market. Whether you have an existing pool or planning to build a new one, the most important accessory is a pool cover. The Designer Pool Covers highly experienced and qualified team look forward to providing you with the ultimate pool cover solution to suit your requirements. We urge you to implement this plan today!

Performance and reliability

Professional technical assistance to clients, architects and builders

On-site face to face customer service

The most exclusive range of pool cover products

Customer after sales support

International standards and trends


Ensures that the water evaporation is reduced to a minimum (by 80%)

Your pool water heating cost is lowered considerably

You save on chemicals (by 70%)

Maintenance and upkeep time is reduced

The pool is ready to swim in at any time


Manual Pool Cover

Automated Slatted Cover

Automated Slatted Cover

Designer Pool Covers offer personalization and integration of all automated, manual and safety pool covers. Whether you are looking for a Vinyl or Slatted pool cover, we have multiple options for you to choose from. Either a luxurious and comfortable automatic cover or the more affordable manual ones. You also have the option of installing the mechanism above ground (on existing pools) or below ground with new builds or with a small renovation. Our covers can accommodate most shapes, designs, and pool sizes with various colours to choose from.

obstructions around the pool and does not interfere with the aesthetics of the pool.

Pool covers can be planned during construction where a wet pit is incorporated to house the mechanism. A lid system (optional extra) is installed at one level to the surrounding surfaces of the pool giving you a neat finished look. Advantages of this option includes no

The PoolLock V5 Manual Easy Glide Safety Cover is an improvement from any other manual system available on the market because the mechanism has a built-in gear (ratio 4:1). The cover is opened by using a crank handle which acts like a key and it is removable –

If you have an existing pool and don’t wish to have much work done around your pool, no worries. Tracks are installed parallel to each other down on top of your coping or decking and the mechanism sits finished level to the pool. The top (or flat) track can be used for this installation and the mechanism can be covered. Advantages of this option includes quick turnaround on installation and easy maintenance.

great safety feature too! Closing the cover is done by pulling a harness. This is the stepping stone to automation as this can be upgraded at any given time as all we do is remove the mechanism and install the Hydraulic mechanism and powerpack. Our slatted covers are custom made to fit any size and shape pool: whether it’s indoor, outdoor, residential or commercial – you can choose from a wide variety of Poly-Carbonated or high-quality PVC slats, to ensure that the cover is integrated perfectly with your pool's surroundings. 086 100 0891





Q: How did the concept for Contours Design Studio (CDS) come to fruition?

A: CDS, which is the sister company of Con-

tours Landscapes, was created to deliver a more personal and creative garden experience to our private clients. The concept goes back to 2014 when I was appointed to head up the residential department for the Contours Group and realised that there was a need to diversify. Collectively, we were similar, but our service is aimed at different markets. Where Contours Landscapes' focus is predominantly on commercial installations and using the designs of others, Contours Design Studio sets out to serve private residential and smaller commercial projects, using our own creative team's designs. In 2017 we officially broke away, and at the beginning of 2020 we started trading as Contours Design Studio.

Q: How is CDS unique to other landscape

design companies and why do clients gravitate towards your studio?

A: We like to challenge the traditional ideas of

landscape design and eliminate the ‘noise’ of gimmicky trends. We are a group of like-minded, highly trained, creative thinkers who thrive on delivering sustainable and well-designed gardens. As with architects - who endeavour to create buildings that connect people with their surroundings - we connect people to the land and kindle the human spirit. We see our gardens as not only designed spaces, but places to explore. We thoroughly enjoy moulding it onsite while holding our clients' hand from start to finish, and we see the process as a complete collaboration, from design all the way through to installation and beyond.

Q: Has CDS managed to work on any interesting projects as of yet? Or is anything exciting in the pipeline?

A: All our projects are individual and interesting

in their own right. Currently, we are working on some exciting new developments with Aquacor Property Developers, who design lifestyles for all South African profiles, rich or poor. Gardens are integral to building communities. Living space is important, but it is outside the front door that communities are created. Vegetable gardens, children’s play, biodiversity and creating gardens for people to appreciate are always top of the agenda. And it is for this reason that sizable budgets are set aside for landscaping right from the start. Their philosophy is visionary and we are totally in sync with it.



Q: How do you see your new brand evolve within the South African lifestyle design sector in the next few years?

A: While architects are opening up living areas

more and more to the landscape, and gardens are becoming less stiff and structured, there is a need for a greater collaboration between architect and landscaper. With this vision, we are really excited to see how far we can blur the lines between the inside world and the exterior. As designers we are working hard to develop a uniquely South African design style which is completely in sync with our natural world and climate.


Are there any specific architects with whom you would like to join forces?

A: The best architects to work with are those

who encourage the collaborative process. We have been fortunate to develop a number of these types of relationships and value them highly.

Q: Who is the team behind the transformation of your clients' outdoor living spaces?

A: Headed by myself (Cara Smith) as manag-

ing director, Contours Design Studio employs a team of 25 full-time staff members. While I look after key clients, I am supported by a team of fully qualified and experienced designers whom I am incredibly proud to work with. Individually, we are a unique team with vast skill sets – from practical to highly conceptual and technical, and collectively the team has over 50 years of experience. While many designs start out with pen on paper, we have now included 3D computer modelling to aid our clients to visualise the garden upfront. The design team is meticulously backed by experienced operational staff who pride themselves on the attention to detail once an installation begins. They, in turn, are supported by our solid and steadfast groundsmen.

"Gardens are integral to building communities."


Behind the drawing board CARA SMITH

Landscape Designer | Managing Director N.D. Landscape Technology Explorer, cheese and wine connoisseur, and great lover of the outdoors and nature.

“There has never been a more exciting time to be a landscape designer. As we enter a new dawn, let it be more about listening, reconnecting and applying our minds to the environment in which we all live. I absolutely love natural gardening, where the lines are blurred, where landscape and architecture are one, and where the home is part of the greater environment.”


Landscape Designer | Studio Manager N.D. Landscape Technology | SACLAP registered Pr LM Student of light, avid consumer of stories, and a heart that resides in wild places. “The deep satisfaction that is invested in a well-designed landscape goes beyond colour alone and comes from a multi-dimensional sensory experience that shifts and changes with the seasons and over time, but is nonetheless deeply rooted in its specific location.”


Landscape Designer | Blogger B.Tech Landscape Design | Master's of Landscape Architecture Fit and food-loving and a super devoted plant dad. “As is imitation to flattery, so is a landscape designer to nature. Being an avid user of the Mediterranean palette, whether it be plants, colours or textures, my mythical paintbrush is dipped in regions and I paint in themes.”


Draughting Specialist Architectural Draughting Certificate | SAID Registered Knowledge-seeker, adrenaline junkie and loyal (to a fault). “Each of our team members has a very specialised skill set. Mine is hardscaping and building structures. I am a huge fan of Sydney-based garden designer, Peter Fudge. His use of simple, clean lines and contrast planting satisfies my need for organisation and structure.”



Ferndale ON REPUBLIC A new lease on life for this redevelopment


Size: 53,000m² - 23,000m² (new retail area) Location: Randburg, Johannesburg Completed: September 2019

Ferndale on Republic, in partnership with Moolman Group, PHG Group and Braam van Huyssteen, has really changed the landscape of shopping. Ferndale on Republic compromises approximately 53,000m² in total. Of this, roughly 23,000m² forms part of the new community shopping centre. With over 90 stores, shoppers are spoilt for choice, convenience, ample free parking and free Wi-Fi. The centre boasts an array of national retail stores and restaurants, ensuring that residents are treated to a first-class shopping and dining experience. The centre is easily accessible from Republic Road and Cross Street. Ferndale on Republic highlights architecture by MDS Architecture and Landscape Architecture Daniel Rebel Landscape Architects with Landscape Contractors, FSG Property Services, Landscape Division, which was awarded the coveted double gold in Landscape Construction with Design by Others category at the 2020 SALI Awards of Excellence. We catch up with Sean Pearce, a partner at MDS Architecture, to learn more about this development. Site history Ferndale on Republic, previously known as the Brightwater Commons and the Randburg Waterfront before that, was initially created as a city waterfront development – a romantic notion in Johannesburg in the 80s. The waterfront element was removed when it underwent a renovation and became the Brightwater Commons, which introduced landscaping and parks to the development, as well as a flea market. Ferndale on Republic is a complete redevelopment, designed by MDS Architecture. Sean Pearce, a partner at MDS Architecture, says that the development has been realised in phases. “Ferndale on Republic is a mixed-use development with offices as well as large retailers. The redevelopment began with the refurbishment of the existing cinemas into Kagiso Media’s new Urban Brew Studios, a well-respected South African television production company. This 12,000m2 project then served as a catalyst for the upgrading of the existing buildings as well as the addition of a new 23,000m2 community shopping mall. Pearce says the design was influenced by his focus on comfortable architecture. “Having grown up in the area, I have many fond memories of the Randburg Waterfront when I



MEET THE TEAM: Developer: Ferndale on Republic Consortium Development managers: Moolman Group Main contractor: Probest Architect: MDS Architecture Landscape architect: Daniel Rebel Landscape Architects Landscape contractors: FSG Property Services, Landscaping Division

first visited it over 20 years ago. It evokes wistful memories for many Joburgers, so I relished the opportunity to be able to completely reimagine the spaces and see it evolve into Ferndale on Republic,” he says. The brief The Ferndale on Republic Consortium, comprising Moolman Group, PHG Group and Braam van Huyssteen, wanted to reposition and rebrand the development as well as increase the total GLA to around 53,000m2. Pieter Lombard, CEO of Moolman Group, says: “In contrast to previous endeavours, this project is a complete redevelopment with a key focus on community. The new Ferndale on Republic is almost unrecognisable; totally repositioned to benefit retailers and shoppers alike and managed with attention to detail.” Pearce says that while some parts of the existing building were retained, others were demolished to allow for more efficient parking and to link the existing building with the new enclosed mall. Landscaping was a key design principle to soften the design and help integrate the old with the new. The site Randburg is experiencing rapid development. Ferndale on Republic has good access from both Republic Road and Hans Strydom with


a quieter entrance via Cross Street into the neighbouring Ferndale. An iconic ‘fern’ sculpture was commissioned for the main entrance off Republic Road to enhance the new branding of the centre. The existing Mercure Hotel was subtly revamped to form part of the new entrance boulevard. Design ethos “We have created a convenient neighbourhood shopping centre while providing a safe family destination. We wanted to retain some of the nostalgia of a waterfront, as well as the greenery and landscaping. For this reason, greenery was used as a central design consideration in line with the ethos of comfortable architecture,” says Pearce. Large trees from the previous Brightwater Commons were relocated to the main entrances to create strong focal points and connect the developments. Feature lighting and pedestrian walkways are interspersed with creepers and living green walls. The development features ‘green lungs’ around the perimeter where people can relax and enjoy a safe environment. New iconic entrances have been softened with landscaping and feature walls covered in stainless steel cables, which will allow the building to soften over time. Each entrance is a different colour to represent the four different seasons. The new, efficient parking area is located at the heart of the development.

The large space, with parking for over 3,200 vehicles, has been broken up by red brick paving and lighting, serving as a strong axial link. Treelined walkways and paved entrances extending into the parking areas all add to the pedestrianfriendly aspects of the new building. Following staggered openings, including Phase 1 of the new community shopping centre and the opening of Food Lover’s Market, the remainder of the community shopping centre, as well as the restaurant and value retail node, were completed in November 2019. Shopping centre Part of the existing mall attached to the waterfront/building was incorporated into the new shopping centre mall and has the sense of an old railway shed or building. Red brick has been used to provide a warm contemporary aesthetic and the individual buildings creating a village feel. The old arches and steel framed windows were maintained to bring in natural light while new bulkheads and shopfronts were introduced to link the old parts with the new. “Shoppers walk through the existing mall and then through to the new mall, creating a special connection between new and old. We worked with existing structures and high-level windows, but introduced new shop fronts and bulkheads.


The retrofitting and refurbishment create interesting interactions and spatial connections between the two structures,” says Pearce. The interior features warm, natural elements and a lot of greenery. Lighting and signage, floor tiling and paving all contribute to a completely different experience. Family retail The co-owners made a concerted effort to promote family retail at Ferndale on Republic and for this reason, pubs have made way for Spur, Panarottis and other family-orientated offerings. The architectural design of the project allows for simple and logical movement patterns, resulting in an easy-to-navigate shopping experience. Pearce believes that in its new form, Ferndale Mall on Republic has a romantic attraction. “It is an evolution that retains the good things associated with the development. The design is efficient but sensitive to the residential area adjacent to the site while taking advantage of accessibility and visibility from Republic Road,” he concludes. Landscape FSG Property Services, Landscape Division, the Landscape Contractors, were responsible

for the installation of the project. One of these responsibilities included installing the decorative paving at the entrances. In total, the FSG team installed over 5,500m2 of Corobrik paving. A fully automated irrigation system was also installed, utilising borehole water in large underground storage tanks. The storage capacity of the tanks is +/-400,000L of borehole water. Before planting, the soils were improved with organic composts and fertilisers. Zeolite was also mixed into the top 300mm soil profile to improve water retention and improve soil structures. When it came to the planting onsite, an indigenous Dietes bicolour mix was applied as the bulk planting around the development, with Crocosmia aurea, Kniphofia praecox and Kniphofia rooperi added into Dietes mix. The mature trees in the parking lot include Celtis Africana, Combretum erythrophyllum and Harpephyllum caffrum, and were planted to create a sense of established passage from the road into the centre. The avenue of trees up the pedestrian walkway runs through the parking lot and leads the customer through the space. Large Olea europaea africana trees were utilised

as feature trees at main entrances, along with cable systems for the planting of Jasminum angulare and multipartitum to grow up and create green screens adjacent to the restaurants and at entrances. This is also an incredibly green and welcoming element to the build. In general, the main contractor was very tight on deadlines, so if any issues or problems onsite crept in, overtime and late nights were part of the job to ensure the developement was ready for the opening date. The project was well managed by the project managers and professional teams, and the outcome is a well-frequented, beautifully designed and implemented space that meets the needs of the local community. SUPPLIERS: Nurseries: Instant Trees Nursery – 011 906 9901 Tshala – 071 683 1177 Plantz Central – 083 284 3186 Topsoil and compost: Furstenburg Compost – 072 316 1807 Soil Product: Pratley's Zeolite - 011 955 2190 Paving: Corobrik – 011 871 8600 Exterior bins: Truestyle – 084 694 2315 External furniture planters and seaters: Gallo Precast – 012 546 6067 Lighting: Regent Lighting Solutions – 011 474 0171 Mall bins and benches: Badec Bros – 0861 322 332 Internal roof planting: Distinctive Spaces- 011 708 7878 Irrigation: Controlled irrigation Product: Rain Bird

"The development features ‘green lungs’ around the perimeter where people can relax and enjoy a safe shopping environment."


Ballito Junction




Location: Ballito, KZN Total cost: R1,5 billion Size: 80,000m² (previous size: 10,000m²)


allito Junction Regional Mall opened its doors a couple of years ago on the Dolphin Coast of KwaZulu-Natal, bringing an exciting array of comprehensive, quality shopping to the growing, diverse and flourishing consumers of Ballito and its surrounds. Owned and developed by the consortium of Menlyn Maine Investment Holdings and Flanagan & Gerard Property Development & Investment, Ballito Junction Regional Mall is the major expansion of an existing 10,000m² shopping centre, which has grown eight times its size, to a massive 80,000m² of worldclass shopping. With its sheer size, shopping and leisure variety, unique attractions, and all-encompassing services and amenities, Ballito Junction is positioned to serve the large cross-section of shoppers. This gives it a dominant position and super-regional pull. Besides its wide-ranging shopping experience and top-notch retailers, the mall is designed to be a real asset for its community – an expanding community that had become sorely underserviced by retail. “Ballito Junction Regional Mall offers the ideal shopping and entertainment for its area. It is also an exceptional development and reflects the latest in inspired mall design and retail innovation. It delivers a compelling, easily accessible, one-stop shopping experience right to the doorsteps of the residents of KwaDukuza for the first time,” says Patrick Flanagan of Flanagan & Gerard. MDS Architecture was the firm responsible for realising the project that won the 2018 SAPOA Award for Innovative Excellence in Property Development under the category of Best Retail Development. The new three-level Ballito Junction opened in March 2017. It has extended an existing 12 000m² shopping centre, growing it by almost eight times its original size while offering simple, uncluttered and calming aesthetics. Ballito Junction is now a regional shopping centre which offers 80,000m² GLA. It was designed by MDS Architecture for a consortium of Menlyn Maine Investment Holdings and Flanagan & Gerard Property Development & Investment. Sean Pearce, the partner at MDS Architecture who led the project, says that the three-level



centre posed a number of design challenges, particularly given that it needed to tie into an existing shopping centre, Ballito Junction. “From Ballito Drive, you only see one level but the building is 35m high at the back (the equivalent of around 6 storeys in height). The design pays homage to the ocean and we have also been careful to design in such a way that guests experience a number of inter-connecting spaces to layer their experience,” he explains. In addition to the planned extension, the owners extended the mall further during the construction phase in response to retailer demand. It now features six anchor retailers and a diverse mix of over 200 shops, restaurants, and SUPPLIERS: Lighting: Regent Lighting Solutions - 011 474 0171 Pots & Planters, Bollards, Select Furnishings: Igneous Concrete - 011 827 7425 Bubble benches: Core Furniture Concepts - 0861 232 673 Planters: Modastone - 032 525 8300 Tiling Adhesive: Tal - 011 206 9700 Tiling: Lime Green - 031 303 1681 RVV - 011 618 1340 Interior Terra-Stone Terrazo tiling: Union Tiles - 011 663 2000 Plants: Shalwyn Nursery – 031 781 1945 Compost: Living Earth - 032 947 9224


services. The anchor tenants are Checkers, Woolworths, Edgars, Pick n Pay, Game and Dis-Chem. Its location off the major N2 highway gives Ballito Junction ease of access from its immediate vicinity as well as to its north and south, and even inland. It has dedicated access around the traffic circles of Leonora Drive, off both Ballito Drive and Simbithi Drive, as well as from Ballito Drive itself. Bringing two structures together Pearce says that bringing the two buildings together posed quite a design challenge. “This was solved by giving the existing centre a facelift and viewing it as a themed area that attaches itself to the new building,” he says. Ballito Junction’s existing and well-loved piazza area with Mediterranean flair was retained and a second piazza was added to the new building. Five levels of parking lead straight into the three malls and the centre features a truck tunnel right at the bottom of the building so that no deliveries take place in a public interface but instead through a series of lifts and staircases concealed from the general public. The old and new are brought together through the top level mall, creating a physical pedestrian link. Parking levels between the two buildings are connected at the upper and middle level malls, which assists with the accessibility and efficiency of the design. Seaside aesthetic One of Ballito’s most appealing features is its outdoor lifestyle on account of its great climate and beachfront. Inspired by the ocean and


seaside living, the design of the mall gives a nod to the area and lifestyle. Entrances at Ballito Junction are prominent and modern, featuring massive off-shutter concrete walls that are panelled to look like weathered timber and lead visitors to one of the three entrances. Illuminated walkways are lined with screens of bougainvilleas. Glass-roofed car drop-off areas provide cover from the elements while wave roofs appear to float above the white building. Ocean blue glass has been used on the stairwells. Various aesthetic elements combine to evoke memories of a seaside holiday, including a colour palette which includes beach sand and ocean colours. Sunny, windswept days are also conjured through references to water, timber boardwalks and decking. Each of the building’s three levels represents an aspect of the ocean. The upper mall level is an all-white theme depicting the rolling white waves of the ocean. Glass balustrades are used throughout the mall to create clean lines and this level offers entertainment, youth retail and niche fashion stores. The middle level is the prime fashion level and is inspired by water. Blue feature lighting ripples across the ceilings while the floors are covered in timber-lookalike and windswept sand porcelain tiles. Urban Eatery The lower level’s theme is the ‘bottom of the sea’ and it is here that the Urban Eatery is located. The food court area is a highlight of Ballito Junction. It is a contemporary market space where patrons can enjoy fresh produce and take-aways, all found in one open-plan space. The aesthetic resembles an industrial building that has been retrofitted, with the exposed steel and concrete structures used as decorative elements. There are no shopfronts in this area, only the kitchens are enclosed and the Urban Eatery features 6.5m high ceilings and a massive feature window which looks out to the north over the undeveloped green parklands of Simbithi Eco-Estate. “Urban Eatery features subdued lighting and is a step in a new direction from the garish, bright and loud food court areas of the past,” says Pearce. Owing to the massive window, the Eatery is dark when it is dark outside, which



creates an intimate atmosphere. Specialist lighting sees the mood change during the day, producing both sunrise and moonlight effects during appropriate times of the day. There are various abstract references to water and sand throughout Ballito Junction. Timber boardwalks, bubble mobiles, jellyfish mobiles and undulating waves in the ceilings all come together for a relaxing and contemporary shopping experience. Skylights over the two main feature courts and clerestorey windows provide abundant natural light which washes down to all the levels below. Large off-shutter concrete walls cast to look like timber clad walls help to delineate the main entrances. Internally, these concrete walls are exposed with the shopfronts in these areas popping out like bay windows. Scenic windows are also included in the double level major tenant stores to maximise views out over the immediate valley and the sea. Screening services from residential viewpoints Pearce reiterates that while the building doesn’t seem imposing from Ballito Drive, from the residential side of Ballito Junction, it is a 6-storey structure. “The building has two very distinct sides to it. Whereas the one side features prominent entrances, we worked to ensure that the back blends and recedes into the backdrop as much as possible. This side of the building is painted dark with a combination of aluminium panels covering the services and vertical planting to ensure that in a few short years, the building will blend softly into its immediate context.” Ballito Junction also offers a state-of-the-art Nu Metro cinema complex, including a Scene Xtreme cinema with a wall-to-wall, floor to ceiling screen and the latest in cinema audio technology. There are two Scene VIP cinemas,

complete with a lounge/dining area where one can order hot/cold drinks and freshly prepared meals served in the lounge or to one’s seat plus five regular 2D and 3D cinemas. 22 Jump Street is a huge trampoline park which offers family entertainment including climbing-walls, dodgeball and a viewing area. “MDS Architecture is known for their ability to maintain the tricky balance between design and commercial demands and they have managed to do so brilliantly on this project,” says Pat Flanagan of Flanagan & Gerard Property Development & Investment. Countryline Horticulture explain that to carry on the theme of the ocean the Landscape Architect, Uys and White designed a textured external landscape resembling a coral reef to contrast the interiors of the mall which have various details imitating the ocean and waves. The external landscape needed to be a xeriscape that was water wise. The planting has a curve design with flowering ground cover divisions of Crassula multicava, that create a striking effect when in flower and transform the design into an ever changing, eye catching landscaped coral reef. Due to the scale of the building, Countryline Horticulture introduced creepers to the northern and southern facade in order to bring the enormous scale of the building down and to create a green wall effect to soften the height of the building.

shady environment for the many restaurants on this front. The bougainvillea colour pergola planters frame the main entrances and lead customers into the building. MEET THE TEAM: Owners & development managers: Flanagan & Gerard Property Development & Investment, Menlyn Maine Investment Holdings Architects: MDS Architecture, Boogertman & Partners Durban Quantity surveyor: Norval Wentzel Steinberg Structural & civil engineer: L&S Consulting Electrical engineer: RWP Mechanical engineer: QMech Traffic engineer: Royal Haskoning Wet services: Sutherland Engineers Fire consultant: SFT Time manager: Orion Project Managers Leasing: Flanagan & Gerard Group Main Contractor: WBHO Landscape architects: Uys & White KZN Landscape contractor: Countryline Horticulture Play area landscape contractor: Bertha Wium Landscape Development

The existing building was transformed and painted white to create a fresh Greek type of modern architecture, and thus including bougainvillea pergolas was suggested to introduce colour to the facade and create a pleasurable

ABOUT MDS ARCHITECTURE MDS Architecture is an award-winning practice that has designed buildings that attract the business, the people and the activity that lead to a sustained performance. With a proud reputation spanning over 65 years, the practice is renowned for its skill in the sectors of hospitality and leisure, retail developments, offices, residential buildings and interiors. For more information on MDS Architecture, visit



Modular play systems are designers and manufacturers of bespoke commercial playgrounds for the restaurants, shopping centres, schools and private estates. We specialize in custom designed playgrounds and have a huge range of standard playgrounds which can suit any application and customer requirement. | 011 474 6930


Custom shades is a tensile structure manufacturer, we specialize in custom designed structures to meet our customers needs. We specialize in conical, barrel vault and hypar (shade sails) structures. Custom shades has a full design, engineering, fabrication facility and have our own rigging teams to carry out installations. We service restaurants, shopping centres, schools, private estates and government buildings. | 011 474 6930


Location: Hermanus, Western Cape Size: 34,000m²



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Hermanus is a seaside town, a 2-hour drive from Cape Town’s CBD, and is situated in South Africa’s Western Cape. Hermanus is internationally known as a whale-watching destination. This extraordinary attribute is what shaped the identity of the Whale Coast Mall, from the building silhouette to the playful floating public art work in the centre’s expo court. Whale Coast Mall is situated directly off the main arterial connecting Cape Town to Hermanus and other towns along the coast, and it provides a well-positioned retail offering to the local shopper as well as holiday makers and travellers. Bentel Associates International and JLDesign embarked on a joint venture to design and implement this shopping centre in the heart of Hermanus. The brief from the Client, Dorpstraat, to the Architects was to design and build a shopping centre to cater for a very specific market - as well as to create a development that does not compete with existing retailers, so as to allow for all developments in the area to benefit from different markets. Rather interestingly, this shopping centre’s original design was conceived as an open-yetcovered centre, and without air-conditioning. In practice, the weather in the area triumphed and, because of this, it became a necessity to re-think this concept. All design and build parties needed to work in unison and convert the building’s design into a fully air-conditioned environment within the existing budget, aesthetic elements, finishes and ambiance being compromised. 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. Still, this shopping centre holds its own in its strong appearance, given the budget.

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Community The main contractor, Isipani Construction, employed local labour, with great attention to works being undertaken by the community. The contractors set up a community project whereby children created glass mosaics for the male and female ablutions and the striking motifs in the centre courts. This was seen as a way to address community buy-in and has been a successful project in this respect. Design concept The majority of the mall is on one level, with a smaller lower level, and encompasses a large area. It is defined by high volumes and an abundance of natural light to create big open airy spaces. The mall comprises 80 retailers with a rather diverse mix of tenants with the anchor brands being Woolworths and Checkers. The building can be described as restrained, and sits inconspicuously between its surrounds. Due to the centre’s location and also the town’s appeal as the ‘whale capital’ of the coast, the design needed to respond to its situation, and certain elements and ideas were inspired by whales and theming from the sea. The dramatic facade of the building catches the eye and announces itself to the passing traffic with large features that could be interpreted as inspired by the tail of a whale without being literal. Motifs and details representing the sea are carried throughout the centre in mosaics, sculptures and representative artwork. The flow and layout adhere to conventional retail principles, supported by contemporary and modern architecture and interiors. The mall also boasts a multi-use area of a large volume food court and a cinema complex which can be used as a theatre with a stage and dressing facilities for actors/performers. Interestingly, certain offerings of the centre, for instance the cinema area, was never provided before in Hermanus. The crucial factor was in providing an amenity that fulfils a need previously not catered for in the town, and the undoubted success of the development during its operating time has underlined this. The combined facilities ensure the shopping centre offers safe shopping, combined with restrained contemporary architecture and striking visual focus points making it a fantastic place to visit in the Overberg region. With four easy access entrances, two lifts, two escalators, full facilities for the disabled and lots of convenient parking that shoppers are effortlessly able to navigate through the mall.



Environmental impact Whale Coast Mall was constructed on a Greenfield site which meant it was imperative to accommodate a regenerative approach to surrounding ecology whilst ensuring that future retrofit and expansion is contained. When it came to the site, it had a large fall from one end to the other, and so the centre was designed around this to optimise the level changes, shaping the centre into the ground. This reduced the visual impact of the building in its setting, so as to fit into its surrounds seamlessly. In order to be energy efficient and eco-friendly as possible, the following measures were implemented: water saving fixtures, sensor lights and LED lights. The use of natural light in as many spaces within the mall as possible meant that there was less electrical demand. Ultimately however, the main focus was to provide energy efficiency in proposing practical design solutions and the application of basic design principles, like good building orientation in relation to the sun, functional planning and allowing natural light to permeate into the interiors. During the design and construction phases, the costs and construction time management were strictly controlled to make sure that the project was to be ready on time and on budget and ready for the various retailers to take their occupation of their spaces for fit-outs prior to opening of the centre. With regard to the quality management, it was also crucial – during the construction phase in particular – to ensure that the consultant


team were playing a quality assurance and control function, making sure that the quality of the building construction was to an acceptable and high standard for future sign-offs and issuing the relevant completion certificates. This process was an iterative procedure of multiple site visits and quality control checks throughout the construction phase by the professional team and the contractor. It also meant the various professionals working on site had to band together to ensure the overall high standard of finish was achieved. Risk management Before building could commence onsite, a full report, feasibility and costing analysis was needed to be completed, and a pre-letting requirement for the retailers was put in place to make sure that the development was feasible prior to the start of construction. The client employed the services of a professional team, who had experience in the design and construction of a building –which reduced the risk for the client. Also, a large amount of the centre’s gross lettable area (GLA) is occupied by national tenants and national franchise offerings affording an extremely strong covenant and mix of tenants across the categories of retail offerings. At its core, Whale Coast Mall seeks to attract a broader base of consumer, particularly those looking for national retail and ‘bigger box’ retail, and the mall fills a niche in the market previously

unoccupied. Because of this, it will retain those shoppers who would have typically travelled to Somerset West, or even further afield to Cape Town, to do their shopping. Overall, the mall has been very successful in its intention and continues to host an array of different shoppers.

MEET THE TEAM: Client: Dorpstraat Shoprite Checkers Sea & Shore Projects HCI Architects: Bentel Associates International & JLDesign (Joint Venture) Main Contractor: Isipani Construction Landscape Architects: JDV Landscape Studio Landscape Contractor: CHB Landscaping & Irrigation






Location: Barberton, Mpumalanga Size: 13,500m² Completed: October 2019 Stimela Crossing is a 13,500m² retail centre in the small town of Barberton, Mpumalanga. It pays homage to the town’s momentous industrial past and acknowledges the significant natural setting of the town that is nestled into the foothills of the UNESCO World Heritage Makhonjwa Mountains. The name “Stimela Crossing” was aptly derived from the historic locomotive that welcomes visitors at the entrance. Stimela Crossing was developed by Masingita Properties with architecture by Boogertman + Partners. The area of Barberton was at one point the gold mining hub of South Africa, even claiming the first South African stock exchange. This is a remarkable piece of history, and coupled with a lingering old-world spirit, there were many design cues to draw from that could be used to revitalise the town. When it came to the selection of materials, Boogertman + Partners looked to steel, face brick and sheet metal roofing to deliberately mirror and draw on the typical industrial building typologies associated with mining and industry. The detailing of the lighting and the main concourse clock refers to the notion of a steam engine era station, and the spacing of the paving and planters playfully references the width and gauge of railway tracks. A building of this scale has a significant impact on the flow patterns of a small town like Barberton. Spatially, the building layout is a hybrid between a traditional open value retail centre and an enclosed mall, and manifests the best of both. It mixes convenience with a market-like experience to promote extended lingering time. Traditional urban civic elements, typically not associated with value retail – such as a public piazza and a covered multi-purpose courtyard – were introduced to broaden the possibilities of events and promote civic gatherings. Public spaces like these are notably absent in the rest of Barberton. The pergola of the covered court was clad with the lumber of the trees that were felled to clear the site. The wood was also used for the civic seating, and in this way, site waste was minimised and some of the original charm retained.

Image by Nic Baleta



The rich colour variations of the pergola’s wooden beams are due to the different wood species, which include: Silky Oak, African Wattle, Syringa, Jacaranda and Acacia Saligna. The established trees on the site boundary were left untouched and frame the site against the Makhonjwa Mountains. The trees also help tremendously to disrupt and slow down the wind. The indigenous landscaping was carefully considered to complement and enhance the defining character of Barberton, and to ultimately provide a haven for the residents of this uniquely South African town. MEET THE TEAM: Developer: Masingita Properties

Image by Peter Hassel

Project managers: CPD Project Management Quantity surveyor: Illungile Quantity Surveyors Structural engineer: Struxit Electrical engineer: Quad Africa Architects: Boogertman + Partners HVAC: VMG Consulting Contractors: Belo & Kies Construction

Image by Nic Baleta

Image by Peter Hassel


"The pergola of the covered court was clad with the lumber of the trees that were felled to clear the site."

Image by Nic Baleta



Image by Nic Baleta

Image by Nic Baleta

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WHAT IS RURAL RETAIL? We catch up with Dewar van Antwerpen, Director at Boogertman + Partners and Paul Evans, Architect at Boogertman + Partners. Rural Retail, as Open Value Retail is not a new typology. It has found expression as a basic retail offering in many under serviced rural areas in South Africa. Historically it has been characterized formulaically as linear retail line shops, facing the parking, with a Food Anchor either in the centre, or on either end. In the favour of this typology, is its fine scale, open and transparent nature. This is not a Regional Mall, that is generally larger in scale, also visually impenetrable and an introspective retail box. Stimela Crossing Stimela Crossing was designed and implemented a ‘Open Value’ retail which strives to become an extension of the fabric of Barberton by offering architectural elements of ‘place making’, the need and expression for which had not yet been elicited in Barberton’s fractured historical timeline. It proffers to the town a ‘Civic Space’, by definition, a space of collective gathering, which is currently absent in the town. This is a place to meet, a place to gather, a collection point, receiving the hordes of shoppers before they disseminate and distribute through the centre.

dough’, affirm the civic nature and extension of the fabric of Barberton.

the mountains higher up and some of the stormwater from the upper town.

Can architecture fulfill a greater need than that reflected in the Brief from a client, can it give expression to and fulfill the need for collective gathering of a community, and in so doing foster the identity of the community? Boogertman + Partners believe it can. Architecture has a role and responsibility beyond the confines of the project, to a broader community it serves.

The solution was a 246m long, 9m wide and x 3m high concrete culvert, comprising 2,514m3 of concrete and 351 tons of steel. The culvert runs a few metres underneath the building in order to not affect the infrastructure. The culvert inlet can be seen from the back of Shoprite and the outlet is on the opposite side of the site. These structures are fenced off in order to ensure the safety of the public. In the rainy season, the water can be seen running through the culvert, ensuring that no damage is caused to the buildings above.

The established trees on the site boundary were left untouched and frame the site against the Makhonjwa Mountains. The trees also help tremendously to disrupt and slow down the wind. The indigenous landscaping was carefully considered to complement and enhance the defining character Berberton and to ultimately provide a haven for the residents of this uniquely South African town. Culvert: There was a small stream running through the site that had to be diverted as part of the EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) requirements. The stream was a result of the water that comes from

A ‘Tower’, as counterpoint to the urban ‘Square’, stands as signifier, a tall element annunciating from a distance and demarcating the entrance to the Civic Space. Also, like all ‘great’ civic spaces, there is a grand ‘Loggia’, - a place from where a view may be held, within, adjacent, also giving definition to the civic space. It is appropriate that the restaurants with their external seating are gathered immediately adjacent and within this defining space. The logia’s height affirms the ‘grand scale’ of the urban space. The civic space leads to an open ended and covered ‘civic hall’, woven into the fabric of the retail, and defined by the retail edges. In the architectural elements that define a town, it’s the reincarnation of a ‘covered market’, now alleviating the seasonal variances of trading incomes. However, in the multivalency of Stimela’s namesake, it also bears reference to historical train stations, which we have all visited, and from which the steel rafters and trusses take iconographic reference. These four simple architectural elements, the ‘raisins in the

Image by Nic Baleta


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izzeria Casuale was born from the concept of a contemporary and relaxed atmosphere, promoting meetings at different times of the day. Located in one of the busiest avenues in SĂŁo LuĂ­s, MaranhĂŁo, the party went on to create a stripped-down identity with references in more traditional pizzerias, using elements such as corten steel, wood and hydraulic tiles. The project was defined by the idea of renovating an existing structure, with few structural changes, but with a new face. To this end, the team created a metallic structure, all hollow, with the intention of creating a tunnel for entry and camouflage the old existing windows. The structure also works as a support for vases with jabuticaba trees that are suspended on the facade.

The reception consists of a large log of natural wood, which serves as support for the attendants. In the background, a metallic structure was created in the same pattern as the facade structure, albeit smaller with white dimensions, allowing for a broader view of the hall. Beside this, and still in the external area, the team developed an environment for waiting, with a bench and tiled tables mimicking the floor. The interior of the pizzeria is separated by several environments, which includes the external space overlooking the avenue and internally divided according to uses, a casual one with backlit high tables (for quick snacks or "happy hour"), a more intimate space for families or more reserved meetings with wooden tables and upholstered sofa, and the final space for

casters, with a zenith opening, for the old tree on the land. The old kitchen was transformed into the pizza assembly and storage area, where the architects made a glass opening for people to watch the preparation. Personality, environmental comfort, affectionate memories and contemporaneity are pillars of the creation of this project, seeking simple architecture, with little environmental impact, but transformative in nature. MEET THE TEAM: Architects: Roby Macedo Arquitetura e Design Primary architect: Roby Macedo Photographer: Jesus Perez


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MEET THE TEAM: Architects leaders (authors): Ari Tomaz, Luis André Guedes, Pablo do Vale Support Architect Renata Godinho Clients: DomNato Padaria Landscape design: Carpe Diem in Garden Contractor: Empreitec Engenharia Architecture studio: LIVRE arquitetura

DomNato Bakery Completed: 2020 Built area: 240m² Location: Belém, Pará, Brasil Photographer: Manuel Sá


he DomNato project consists in the readjustment of an old house into a bakery, totalling 240m2 of built area. As a restoration strategy, it was decided to preserve the old façade and to mark the area of the new intervention in an orange box. So, the project consists of two volumes that are reproduced both inside and outside. The strong colour volume houses the production sites: confectionery, bakery, and kitchen. The old, blank area consists of the sector for bakery users. This colour is part of client’s visual ID and is an example of how architecture must deal with branding and knowledge from other areas. Design objects were exclusively designed with the aim of reinforcing the brand identity, such as tiled mosaic benches which allude to the location of the group's stores through map graphics, as well as the exhibition furniture and the hanging garden.


The confectionery, at the entrance of the building, gives greater visibility for its production of fine sweets and aims to increase sales. In the bakery, a three-deck baking oven was imported from Portugal to guarantee constant production and to ensure customers can always find freshly baked bread throughout the day. The flux of clients and employees was studied meticulously to increase both buying appeal and to provide efficiency in productions areas. The interior lighting design used high-end spotlights to emulate solar illumination. Only high CRI (Colour Rendering Index) LED lamps were used to ensure the products' appeal and the visual comfort for users. Solar Control films were used on windows to decrese the demand for air-conditioning, enhancing the thermal comfort, and decreasing the energy consumption. The bathrooms use a

single ceramic tile coating on the ceiling, walls, and floor, set in pagination with whole pieces. The landscaping was implemented, prioritising the use of Brazilian plants that, in our reading, refer to the natural Amazonian environment due to their size and leaf structure. A kitchen garden was also built for the consumption of the establishment. All paints were custom made to this project by a local chemical industry to ensure both high resistance and colour accuracy to client’s branding. The special orange polyurethane paint was developed to maintain a matte finish, which is essential to this project mood, grabbing a contemporary touch and reinforcing the singularity of that building. In the interior space, it used a restricted colour palette focused on a small number of colours and finishes, so as not to call attention to the building. The furniture follows simple lines and an architecture without ornaments, seeking to respect the preponderance of the products and the selling purposes. The architecture must be a support to the main vocation of the project.

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MAINTAINING MALL GARDENS By Kate Morris, Divisional Manager for Life Landscapes Johannesburg


and serviced before the masses arrive and grass needs to be cut before parks and open areas are filled by lunch time patrons, or the office worker taking a coffee or smoke break.


alls and shopping centres are such a large part of any urban environment and the gardens are an integral part of the attraction to visit and spend time at these shared public spaces. The lush colourful beds, the sculptural trees, the stylish pots overflowing with lush green plants all help to invite and allure patrons and encourage them to stay longer and enjoy their overall shopping experience. Maintaining these gardens comes with a range of challenges and issues but simultaneously is also highly rewarding and prestigious, the triumphs and successes are abundant. The trick is to find the balance between providing a practical and versatile solution yet still be surrounded by beauty for all visitors. Shopping centres and malls are abuzz throughout the day and night with streams of visitors, shoppers, vehicles, deliveries, staff that work there, window shoppers, wanderers or mobs of teens hanging out. Retail Sapces need to look good throughout the year and at all times of the day and night and still appeal to all. The maintenance of these type of gardens involve a special level of attention and commitment. When carrying out daily maintenance and horticultural practices the gardeners need to be aware of the people around them – they need to be as discreet as possible, yet at the same time, continue to carry out their tasks. Visitors do not want to be stepping over piles of dead leaves or pruned branches. This often proves difficult especially in high profile areas or spaces that have high foot traffic. Schedules need to be arranged to minimise disruption to the experiences of the people using the mall. Blowing and litter pick up needs to be done first thing in the mornings when there are fewer cars; nobody wants to be disturbed by noisy blowers when trying to enjoy their lunch in the open-air piazza food court. Water features need to be cleaned

Safety for all is a critical factor, and as service providers we need to ensure that our gardeners are safe from harm as much as possible. This can be achieved by ensuring they are neatly dressed in uniforms that clearly display the logo and are wearing high visibility vests especially when working in car parks and areas where vehicles are moving around. Hosepipes must be stored carefully and be leak free, car parks always cause challenges as pipes get leaks if they are constantly ridden over, where possible use protector metal pipes or thread them through drains or culverts. Visitors must be safe from falling debris, low hanging branches, poisonous or thorny plants. We need to be careful of not creating tripping hazards such as tools lying around, slippery surfaces from leaking pipes or irrigation systems. Cones and warning boards are essential pieces of equipment. Car park trees are often a challenge as they can be limited and stunted by the planter boxes or small planter rings they find themselves in. Whilst the quest for shade is high, the reality is that trees often suffer. Crown lifting must be monitored and done on an ongoing basis to ensure low hanging branches are not damaging cars. A good pair of sharp loppers and a small handsaw are an essential part of the tools. Wherever possible, gardens should be watered at night – preferably in the early hours of the mornings using automated irrigation systems to minimise the risk of wetting areas needed by patrons. Watering cans may be the best solution for pots and planters along alley ways. Gardeners must carefully select the tools for their daily tasks and keep them close, they must not be left lying in the path of the shoppers causing them to trip or where they could be stolen or damaged by passing vehicles.

Unfortunately, due to the high levels of traffic in and out of malls by both vehicles and patrons, some garden areas simply just continue to suffer from abuse and damage. The best solution is to adapt to survive, yet still maintain the beauty of the gardens. So often we find car parks island beds being continually trampled or damaged. A solution would be to change to bigger plants or perhaps remove a row of plants to compensate for those swinging car doors. Convert the trampled area where the car guards always sit or the people waiting for their Ubers stand, to a gravel bed. Add a paver to the shortcut that people always insist on taking. Trim that low hanging branch to prevent the delivery trucks from bashing it and if all else fails add a big rock to the corner where the cars always drive over the garden (this may however cause a whole set of other issues from irate drivers with damaged bumpers!) – the solution – don’t fight it, manage it. The battery-operated Stihl machine range which includes blowers, brush cutters and push mowers are ideal to use if noise disturbances are an issue. Lasher tools generally prove to be the most versatile and are long-lasting when it comes to hand tools, spades, forks, and the like. Ideally both soft and hard bristle brooms are needed due to the different types of hard surfaces which can range from smooth tiles to rough tar. Storerooms must be kept neat, clean, and dry and tools must be hung or stored on racks and hooks. Hosepipes must be carefully rolled up and stored out of the sun to prevent perishing. Be clever with seasonal requirements by adding to the vibe of the upcoming festivities – use bright red flowering annuals in the weeks leading to Christmas or oranges to brighten the dark days of winter; pinks in Spring or to celebrate Mother’s Day. The art of getting it right requires working hard and working clever whilst still subtly maintaining the beauty of the gardens and ensuring they look magnificent year-round for all to enjoy.


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he STIHL Lithium-ion PRO cordless range has been designed in line with today’s focus on greener power tool choices. The operating noise of the various models in the range is limited, with sound levels so low that no ear protection is required. This, combined with the advantages of total mobility, no smelly emissions and zero fuel costs, makes these high-powered tools ideal for use in retail centres and malls, schools and parks, lifestyle estates, hospitals and care centres. PRO range tools deliver a professional-grade performance with extended battery life, plus STIHL’s innovative Lithium-ion battery technology ensures that these machines won’t lose power as the battery begins to run down. All models have a long running time and short charging time, and the added convenience of batteries being interchangeable between all PRO products. With three different battery capacities available and two chargers, there is no need to ever run out of power. STIHL battery back packs have an even larger capacity for longer running times for all-day use.

The tools in the PRO range are easy to start and simple to operate, and many of the tools can be used in wet weather for even less downtime and greater efficiency. STIHL PRO products are lightweight and ergonomic, designed to reduce operator fatigue during extended use.

STIHL has developed a PRO range tool for every task involved in keeping green areas neat and tidy - choose from a useful and diverse selection of cordless chainsaws, telescopic pole pruners, brushcutters, blowers, hedge-trimmers and lawnmowers. These models are low maintenance and cost-effective: the brushless motors require minimal servicing and there’s no downtime for messy and costly refuelling. STIHL Lithium-ion PRO range, for professional grade performance with all the advantages of a greener way of working.


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Due to Covid-19 John Deere has pushed out the launch of the 2750 Triplex in South Africa, but are geared up for a 2021 reveal date.

Quality labor availability and tightening operating budgets continue to be challenges, and understanding these customer needs was a key driver behind the development our two new reel mowers from John Deere – 2750 PrecisionCut™ Triplex Mowers, and the 2750 E-Cut™ Hybrid Triplex Mowers. Designed to provide premium cut quality regardless of operator, improved grass catcheraccessibility, and reduced operating costs, the new mowers provide a lightweight, open platform machine that’s further enhanced by the proven TechControl™ system. Consistent cut quality across all operators, contour following, and grass catcher accessibility are critical needs for our customers. The 2750 Triplex Mowers were designed to tackle these challenges and take the stress out of mowing, with an enhanced TechControl system that allows for more precise control than ever before. Using the passcode protected TechControl system, managers and technicians can input commands, controlling nearly everything regarding the operator’s performance, including frequency of clip, turn speed, clean up pass speed, and how fast the cutting units raise and lower. The TechControl system ensures that regardless of the operator, the end results are the same, providing consistent cut quality on the course.

An industry exclusive on the hydraulic model, and available on the hybrid unit, the frequency of clip can be programmed by altering parameters on mowing speed, reel speed and number of blades on the reel. Once programmed, the settings cannot be changed by the operator and automatically adjusts with ground speed, ensuring uniformity from machine to machine. Clean Up Pass Mode, a John Deere exclusive, is a preset operating mode that the operator can engage to automatically reduce mowing speed on perimeter passes to increase accuracy for less scalping or missed grass. This setting allows the operator to focus on the task, rather than feathering the speed. Adjustable turn speed allows the superintendent to control how fast the operator is able to turn, minimizing chances of turf damage. Additionally, the superintendent or technician can select Eco Mode, which electronically controls the engine speed to conserve fuel. With Eco Mode, the engine RPM automatically adjusts based on the load, saving up to 30 percent on fuel and reducing operating sound levels. The 2750 Triplex Mower features a lightweight, open platform frame design with a low center of gravity for excellent stability and traction performance. The decreased weight reduces tire tracking and compaction, and the open plat-

form design makes it easier to access the center grass catcher. The grass catchers can be easily removed and installed with one hand and have a translucent yellow option for better visibility of clippings levels. Another notable change on the 2750 model is improvement to the steering column, which features two points of adjustment – the column and steering wheel – and requires no tools, maximizing operator comfort. The 2750 Triplex Mower offers a 157.5-centimeter (62-inch) mowing width and mow speeds of up to 9.7 kph (six mph). The three-axis lift system provides up to 18 degrees of steering and 42 degrees of contour following for an even cut, especially in cleanups and undulating terrain. The new Triplex Mowers will be available for purchase in 2020. Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) is a world leader in providing advanced products and services and is committed to the success of customers whose work is linked to the land -those who cultivate, harvest, transform, enrich and build upon the land to meet the world's dramatically increasing need for food, fuel, shelter and infrastructure. Since 1837, John Deere has delivered innovative products of superior quality built on a tradition of integrity.




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Containers & courtyards T

hese days, many of us live in flats and townhouses without large gardens or open spaces that we can cultivate as our own. However, we shouldn’t let the lack of open space stop us from creating imaginative and beautiful gardens that can produce food, encourage birds and bees, and increase biodiversity. There are many ways to effectively utilize the space you have and it all starts with good planning and a splash of creativity. Things to think about when designing your mini-garden or urban space include: what you want to get out of your garden, which part of your design space gets sun, at what time of day and for how long (veggies need six hours of sun daily), as well as whether you require your garden to be functional or not, for example, to provide privacy or to provide a shield from strong winds. Remember, you don’t need lawn or ground space to benefit from home-grown vegetables and fruits, sweet-smelling flowers, indigenous shrubs and a variety of habitats for birds and insects. Designing your Container Courtyard Follow these straightforward steps to creating an ideal space for your mini-garden: 1. The best way to understand your space is to draw a simple picture of the area available for use. Use graph paper and draw your diagram to scale so that you know exactly what you are working with. 2. Track the path of the sun from when it rises to when it sets. This will assist you in the placement of different plants in your mini-garden. Remember that vegetables need at least six hours of sunlight every day. 3. Make a note of areas that stay shady throughout the day. 4. Pinpoint areas that may require screening or barriers. 5. Perhaps you have an area that collects rainwater - use this to your advantage by using that space for your water-loving or three-drop plants. Rain gardens are an ideal example of using harvested rainwater. Space-saving gardens are fun and interesting to design and can be creative and beautiful. They are also Water Wise and kind to the environment, and with careful planning a mini-garden can reduce the amount of water you use. Don’t let a lack of space deter you from nurturing your green fingers. Remember to be Water Wise! and click on the Water Wise logo FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON WATER WISE, PLEASE CONTACT US ON: 0860 10 10 60

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