Cresta Shopping Centre is the premier mall located in Randburg, South Africa, right outside Johannesburg. Built in 1977, the mall is one of the largest shopping centers in the Southern Hemisphere. It has experienced many renovations over the years, the last dating back to 1993. Since then, more than half a billion people have made Cresta their shopping destination, making an upgrade necessary to the property. As part of their $30 million dollar refurbishment and expansion program, the center refreshed their design to showcase the nostalgia of the building while simultaneously appealing to a younger market. The designers and architects on the project had already approved a particular design when they met Dean Armstrong from Ergosystems, a South African ATI distributor, who showed them what ATI products could accomplish. Armstrong quickly offered the team a new design concept using nature-inspired images. They fell in love with his design scheme and overnight switched from their original concept to one featuring ATI’s Fusion program, which marries stock or custom art with multiple substrate choices, creating beautiful, durable architectural surfaces.
The Design Challenge:
The project had multiple challenges. The designers wanted a themed concept that showcased novel products and images that would attract new stores and tenants. In addition, the material used had to be durable and strong enough to hold up to a high-traffic retail environment that hosts nearly 18 million shoppers annually. Armstrong recalls, “They were looking for products that people had never seen before, something new and exciting.”
Armstrong partnered with ATI to produce 10 different Fusion murals, using a sublimation process to actually embed images into the substrate. Each mural showcases a different over-sized, nature-inspired design from hydrangeas and daisies to black-and-white butterflies. The natural elements are fun and beautiful, but also evoke a calm and relaxed feeling in an otherwise hectic environment. To create the look and feel desired, Armstrong fused the images into white gloss aluminum. Not only did the substrate provide the necessary durability and impact resistance needed, the glossy properties of the aluminum allowed the images to pop off the walls. Another advantage of the substrate was its modular capabilities, which will make future updates a breeze and create less waste. “It’s a green solution,” said Armstrong.“The next time we revitalize the shopping center, we can un-clip the old panels and clip up new ones.” Armstrong notes the finished design was a win/win for all involved. “Everyone is very happy with the outcome to the point that we’re now involved with the same client in multiple shopping centers,” said Armstrong. “Professional architects and designers see it as a masterpiece.”
Randburg, South Africa
Fusion Wall Panels