Tranquil surroundings for retail outing

The Randburg Waterfront, built in 1996, was once a popular shopping and entertainment venue for families, teenagers and couples alike. It has recently undergone a complete transformation and renaming, and is now known as The Brightwater Commons.

The Randburg Waterfront, built in 1996, was once a popular shopping and entertainment venue for families, teenagers and couples alike. It has recently undergone a complete transformation and renaming, and is now known as The Brightwater Commons.

The shops and restaurants surrounding the lake in a natural depression in President Ridge, fed by the Jukskei River, dropped in popularity over the years prompting developers to rethink their design around the concept of an urban shopping space, transforming the stark harbour and warehouse development into a more welcoming small town streetscape.

Fountainhead Property Trust spent R80million on the refurbishment creating landscaping and paved walkways, a village green and watercourse that would bring shoppers the pleasure of combining their retail experience with aesthetically appealing surroundings and bringing the philosophy of New Urbanism into the shopping environment.

Micha'el Frame and Mark Young, joint venture architects and environmental designers for The Brightwater Commons, believe that the design of urban landscapes must make every effort to appeal to the community.

Micha'el Frame says: "We're designing for a sense of wellbeing and spontaneous social interaction."

The Brightwater Commons is a great place for family outings. The shopping centre has a miniaturised village atmosphere where real trees drop their leaves in real light near real water. Says Frame: "If we have done our job well, shoppers visit for the attractions, and confirm that it is a retail environment that feels just right."

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