Atterbury has launched its latest retail development in Pretoria East, Village Walk, which connects its already successful retail precincts in the suburb of Hazelwood: The Village on 16th Street and The Club precinct which sit between Hazelwood and Dely Roads.
The R52 million development has introduced 1 495m2 of new gross lettable area (GLA) of which 595m2 will be restaurants and 900m2 retail, as well as additional parking bays.
Village Walk is as much an urban intervention as it is a retail precinct. The aim of the project has been to create an urban retail experience with unique appeal in the popular location. The project fits into a greater master plan to connect the shops and restaurants within the precincts via attractive open-air pedestrian routes, allowing patrons to experience the characterful urban surroundings.
The heart of the Village Walk is the pedestrian walkway linking The Village to The Club which has been opened up more fluid movement between the two hubs via a journey that creates a conceptual and a physical link between the rustic and organic Village feel and the more structured Club Precinct.
The broader Old East Precinct is collectively made up of The Village, The Club retail centre, Die Klubhuis and Club One office buildings, The Club Surgical Centre, and the Advocate Chambers, creating a greater mixed-use precinct. The development of Village Walk has also provided much-needed additional structured parking. The link will make it safer for the public to park in a secure area with easy access to The Village and The Club.
In contrast to the ultra-modern shopping environments of the malls, Village Walk is a celebration of public space, art, and curated experience, inspired by the unique personality of the neighbourhood. Its primary inspiration is the Old East Precinct, which combines the best of urban and suburban life with unique charm and ‘village’ feel, within an urban setting.
In linking Village and Club precincts, the design style refers to both, blending inspirations from the two but with the final product having its own character. The public pedestrian route, aside from linking the various components, offers a journey in itself – featuring seating areas, courtyards between the buildings, and public art.
The composition of Village Walk’s spaces affirms the value of public art in public spaces. The main courtyard along the walkway features exquisitely crafted bronze rhino calf statues, created by artist Angus Taylor, as a key focal point. The sculptures evoke the kind of humility and peculiarity that Taylor finds in his more frequent subject matter (domestic animals such as donkeys) and are poignant reminder that these creatures now depend on man for their continued survival.
The Village Walk project acts as the final piece in a puzzle, decisively knitting together the different parts of the Old East Precinct with a design, tenant mix and overall user experience that sets it apart from other offerings.