Princess Mkabayi Mall is a single-level 30,000m2 regional mall under construction. Located in Vryheid, Kwa-Zulu Natal, the shopping centre forms part of a larger vision for a mixed-use development to eventually include an office park, a hotel and casino and residential estate.
The development is co-owned by the Moolman Group, Twin City, JB Holdings, and Green Giraffe and was designed by MDS Architecture. It features an entertainment node, a fresh, new place for togetherness, and a mix of much-needed modern conveniences and facilities.
Pierre Lahaye, a partner at MDS Architecture, says the site is centrally located and well placed. “Extensive earthworks were required and consequently the building seems to rise out of the ground into a type of plateau. The design features an exciting blend of textures and an abundance of natural light.”
The shopping centre is named after one of the most powerful women in Zulu history. Princess Mkabayi broke several taboos to safeguard the nation and its royal family and is buried in the area.
Says Lahaye, “The architecture, interiors and colour palette combine to create a celebration of strength and vibrancy. Intricate ceiling and floor patterns throughout the building create tension while the curved mall entices shoppers to explore what is on offer. Timber slats beneath the clerestory windows lend an air of sophistication to the interiors.”
Princess Mkabayi Mall has three prominent entrances. Coloured glazing creates multi-coloured drama, while triangular-shaped columns feature strongly and create covered walkways. The triangular pattern is repeated throughout the development, evoking woven natural materials.
In the food area, hanging plants create warmth, interest and texture. In what has become the norm in developments by the consortium, opportunities for showcasing local artwork and crafts have been incorporated into the design.
Princess Mkabayi Mall is expected to be completed by the end of October 2024. It will be anchored by Shoprite, Checkers, Dis-Chem, Woolworths with a food offering, and Clicks. Other tenants include Cape Union Mart, Old Khaki, Crazy Plastics, and Crazy Pets.