The concept for a unique retail development is borne out of the need to provide the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast with a different type of shopping and leisure experience that incorporates various aspects of the unique KZN lifestyle.
Sunny skies and wonderful weather are an integral part of this development that is located in Umhlanga. The various elements of nature and the surrounding landscape are incorporated into the design so that they come together as one. The priority of the pedestrian is at the core of the development. Various aspects such as lifestyle, fashion, food, sports and family entertainment are all integrated in a regional shopping destination that also offers incomparable convenience and choice of grocery and value shopping. This open-air environment, has been designed to provide 85 000m² of retail shops within separate nodes that are all unique in their architectural language and style. The different nodes are interconnected by landscaped walkways (which are covered to offer protection from the sun and rain), bridges, malls and sidewalks. Theses nodes are further characterised by park-like open areas which offer family-orientated entertainment zones to shoppers.
The design provides for easy access of this traffic into all parking levels from any direction. In addition, the SASA Boulevard which, in the future will extend into the planned Cornubia Town Centre business node, will also run directly through the centre of the development. The architecture responds to the great visibility through its transparency of elements such as double level display windows as well as accentuated forms and iconic entrance features which will be visible from all the surrounding roads.
At the heart of the development is the ‘town square’ comprising two levels of al-fresco style restaurants, tapas bars, coffee shops and retail stores which overlook the natural vegetation of the Cornubia valley and wetlands. Leading from the town square are two meandering boulevards which interconnect to form 1km of retail therapy. The larger of the two boulevards leads the shopper through the north and south shopping precincts of the development. The shorter of the two, called the Cornubia ‘high line’, offers a convenient short-cut for crisscrossing the parking areas and the busy SASA Boulevard. The size of the centre presented lots of challenges and opportunities for Chartwell and Rigifoam. However, working with Wilson Bailey Holmes, Wentzel Abrahamson Architects as well as SIP Project managers, they knew that with all their help they’d be able to do it. Roofing sheets were in excess of 60 to 80m long and they had to be lifted up, sometimes as high as 20m. Due to the location in a coastal area, this resulted in severe winds and lots of rain, so handling the material and getting it on the roof wasn’t easy.
One of the products that really helped was the Lambdaboard supplied by Rigifoam. The easy installation assisted in alleviating weather challenges and the long sheets that were installed. Rigifoam representatives assisted with technical difficulties and advised about which material would comply with tenants’ specification. “Lambdaboard has the highest R-value (which is one of four key factors that determine the effectiveness of an insulation material) per 25mm on insulation, what you buy you get. “No reduction in thermal properties over aging, no compressing on thickness during installation,” says Lyle Jeffrey, national sales manager of Rigifoam. Being a closed cell material, it does not absorb moisture nor is it affected by air movement. Lambdaboard is the only Automatic Sprinkler Inspection Bureau (ASIB) approved ‘combustible’ insulation material to be installed over sprinklers, as it does not soften, melt or drip blocking the sprinklers heads, as is the case with thermoplastics. With the high humidity and hot climatic conditions experienced in KwaZulu-Natal, it made the choice of insulation immensely critical for this project. South Africa’s leading retail brands such as Pick n’ Pay, Virgin Active and Shoprite have, for some time now, understood the benefits of excellent insulation. For this reason, Lambdaboard was the chosen insulation product used on Cornubia. The rigidity and compressive strength of Lambdaboard means not only that the roof sheeting integrates perfectly with the product, but it also eliminates any thermal bridging when used in an ‘over purlin’ design. The flexible face Lambdaboard allows for an aesthetically pleasing ceiling finish, and this always exceeds the client’s high expectations and standards on shop fitting and overall store appeal. “Its Green Building credentials are proven and therefore considered an eco-friendly product,” says Andre Wiese from Bentel Associates International Architects. The thermal conductivity on Lambdaboard (0.0024 W/m.K) at 22°C means it offers an excellent stable R Value, therefore allowing the centre’s tenants to truly take control of their energy costs,” says Wiese.
“The mall roof project
started in February 2016 and
was completed before the mall
opening in September 2017.”
– Lyle Jeffery, Rigifoam.
The north precinct is anchored by Shoprite, Woolworths and Edgars. It is characterised by a double level retail environment of fashion and department stores, lifestyle and homeware shops as well as convenience shopping. Easy access, good visibility and dynamic architecture complement the exciting retail mix which offers young and old a great shopping experience while also providing them with entertainment and relaxation. KwaZulu-Natal is renowned for its year round moderate weather and this scheme captures this dynamic in a creative manner by providing a truly unique experience which encompasses the very essence of the KwaZulu-Natal lifestyle.
Chartwell Roofing is proud to be associated with the Cornubia mall, another infrastructure development that didn’t compromise on price to achieve the best thermal insulation. Chartwell Roofing expresses gratitude to the Rigifoam team for their assistance throughout the project. Their technical help, prompt deliveries and general service was excellent and contributed to delivering on time and giving the client a superior finish. The tenants love it as once it is laid and put in place, it requires nothing more. It offers superior thermal and acoustic insulation properties and that’s what we want to offer clients and we look forward to using Lambdaboard again in future.
-Photos by Rigifoam-