Client: Sentinel Mining Industry Retirement Fund and later AMDEC
Location: Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Osmond Lange was approached by the Sentinel Mining Industry Retirement Fund in 1996 to create the brief, design and co-deliver (in association with Arup) the first phase of the Melrose Arch development. The client requirement was to create nodal property investment of lasting quality that would stand the test of time. Although primarily envisaged as an office park, it is the incorporation of a wide range of mixed uses that gives Melrose Arch its life.
Since the occupation of the first offices at Melrose Arch in late 2001, the new ‘towm within a town’ has established itself not only as Johanneburg’s premier office address, but just a great place to be, meet for lunch or dinner, live, stay over, workout, and do business.
From the outset, Osmond Lange’s vision was to successfully fulfil our client’s wish – to create a development that would arouse interest, where the public would want to be, all of which would add to its sustainable financial success. In a civic society, the public spaces define the ethos of that community. Commerce is what brings a city to life; the ground plane of a city is where it all happens. The thing that most differentiates Melrose Arch is the Third or Public Space. If the first place is your home, the second is where you work, then the third place is the neutral ground; the empty stage where real connection occurs.
The space between the buildings becomes the positive space, with the building facades forming the boundaries. Osmond Lange were responsible for the design and execution of the urban fabric at Melrose Arch. The concept that the pedestrian is more important that the motor vehicle is the philosophy that predominates the design.