The MARC located in the ‘Golden Square Mile’ of the Sandton CBD, is a mixed used development which features two office towers and a retail component including a gym and medical suites easily accessed from street level.
Designed by South African architecture practice, Boogertman and partners, the MARC (an acronym for the precinct’s location which is Maude And Rivonia Corner) is a new urban landmark which has transformed the character of the surrounding neighbourhood. The new scheme replaces the precinct’s previous reliance on vehicular access with a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly street level making use transparency and ease of access as key design principles.
A bold facade and a vibrant street
The design facilitates a shift to transparency and pedestrian traffic through large, wide urban staircases, generous pavements, public benches, hard and soft landscaping, and artworks. Three entrances flow through two floors of retail and a gym, above which sit two commercial towers – a 12- floor ovoid tower with a unique gold-and-black facade, designed to contrast with the predominantly blue and clear glass Sandton skyline and a 17- floor tower occupied by legal firm ENS. Parking is accommodated in 6.5 basement levels.
The office buildings are designed for visual impact on a busy intersection while allowing for physical and visual connections to the retail and podium components using an urban staircase and on grade access points. Increased foot traffic positively impacts all retail tenants and combined with the landmark destination adds significantly to the employee value proposition for the commercial tenants.
The overarching concept of open access and transparency was maintained in the retail design through the use of curved glass shop fronts, softly lit arches and skylights connecting visibility and light with ease of mobility. All retail glazing runs from floor to ceiling with firm design protocols in place for tenants to keep shop fronts clean and free of point-of-sale clutter.
The reference to the gold facade of ‘The Jewel’ is carried through in custom made diagonal metal screens whilst the warmth of the colour is picked up in timber finishes and public seating. Curved bulkhead lighting features with timber detailed trims continue the design detailing of curved flowing spaces.