Merino Mall in Ermelo, Mpumalanga, is currently under construction and scheduled for completion by October 2022.
Designed by award-winning MDS Architecture, a consortium of investors, including the Moolman Group and Abland, are developing the 28 000m2 fully enclosed regional mall – the only shopping centre of this size within a 100km radius of Ermelo.
The mall’s name is derived from the Merino sheep brand, paying tribute to the site’s history and it will be built on the original Ermelo Showgrounds on the corners of the N2 and N11 freeways, near the N17 and within walking distance from the Ermelo CBD.
“The original showground barn structures were used as inspiration for the building and became a key design feature, with the barn shape becoming a distinctive visual reference”, comments Sean Pearce, partner at MDS Architecture.
The steep slope on the site resulted in massive bulk earthworks which commenced in July 2021 and completed in November 2021.
“Merino Mall’s design needed to provide good visibility from the main road, while considering the residential areas to the rear of the site. For this reason, the building is located away from most of the residential areas and landscaping has been used to provide a level of screening,” says Pearce.
Sandstone is endemic to the area, and it will be reused for the feature walls. Other natural materials such as timber and steel complement the red bricks and concrete portals at the main entrances.
“In addition to reusing the sandstone and retaining the existing barn structure, Merino Mall will showcase the work of local artists,” concludes Pearce.