No, Pat, You’re Wrong!

2010.10.17

Apparently Pat Flanagan, who is responsible for the development of many of South Africa’s major shopping centres – including Riverside Mall, Nelspruit; Somerset Mall, Somerset West; Northgate, Randburg – thinks we need more. But then I guess he would.

Um. No.

On an economic level, there are those that dissagree. I don’t know much about that, but on an urban level, well, malls are anti-urban! They unsustainable. They’re generally awful to look at. And unless South African developers and architects can reinvent the typology, make them more respectful of the uniqueness of place, less ‘fuck you, city’, I’m not sure we really do need any more.

If we really do need more retail facilities, which I’m sure many under-serviced areas do, then we need something other than big-box solutions. But fine-grained, sound urban solutions won’t make Pat and his ilk a lot of money fast. And that’s really what Pat’s after. Money. At the expense of the people who really live in the cities.

You want to proliferate ‘fuck you, city’ urbanism? Well, fuck you, Pat!

Advertisements

Matlosana Mall, Klerksdorp. Stauch Vorster Architects for Abacus Asset Management

2010.09.14

Another mall. No, really, another one. Doesn’t Klerksdorp already have two? How many malls can a town that size sustain?

grim.

At least there’s a giant, swooshy roof to distract us from what will inevitably be another faceless box in the landscape.

Perhaps it’s a metaphor for the death of another small town centre. The death of resposible urbanism in modern-day South Africa. The death of another investment fund duped into backing 60,000 squares of unnecessary, ill-conceived, ill-fated retail architecture.

indeed!

Anyone know who the architects on this one are?

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine


Mamelodi Shopping Centre, Mamelodi, Gauteng. MDS Architecture for McCormick Property Development.

2010.03.23

Sigh.

Architect Africa reports that Mamelodi Shopping Centre is now under construction, with completion due in late 2011.

Is there really no alternative to this? A string of giant, faceless boxes in a sea of parking. With no connectedness to its urban context. South African architects and developers are capable of so much more. Aren’t they?

MamelodiShoppingCentre

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine