The Neighbourhood Square is a village-style retail centre designed to become an energised hub of The Neighbourhood, a residential lifestyle estate located on a portion of the old Huddle Park Golf Course in Linksfield, Johannesburg. Many large existing trees, which lined the greens on the old golf course, were positioned on the new site for the Neighbourhood Square. Respecting and accommodating these trees as a response to the natural heritage of the site-become a key design driver.

Early on the design team identified suitable trees to preserve, and the design was manipulated to create a shopping centre that felt like you were ‘meandering through the trees’. The simple linear architecture of the building was intended to allow the building to become the backdrop for the landscape. Seamless transition from the densely forested landscape to shopfront was emphasised by a column-free canopy to allow maximum exposure for the tenants’ shopfronts and to create a more engaging shopping environment.

The restaurant square and piazza form the community heart of not only the shopping centre but of the greater Neighbourhood precinct. The use of textures and planting emulate a traditional village square, creating a vibrant and interactive social space. Principles that are central in local retail design such as convenience, natural light and fresh air, access to outdoor seating in coffee shops and restaurants, have become increasingly important post-COVID-19. The distinct shopping environment of the Neighbourhood Square provides ample opportunity for outdoor social engagement and easy access to essential retail outlets e.g. Checkers, DisChem. The intention is to create a community orientated centre that reflects the vibrancy of the neighbourhood that it serves.

Client Investec Property
Principal Contractor Trencon Construction
Electrical Engineer CKR Consulting Engineers
Project Manager SIP Project Managers
Landscape Architect Landmark Studio
Quantity Surveyor Brian Heineberg & Associates
Structural and Civil Engineer Pure Consulting
Wet Services Consultant GK Periera Consulting
Completed 2020
Images Tristan Mclaren