MAMS Mall, Mamelodi, Gauteng

A retail hub for the community
MAMS Mall is ‘the place to be’, so says the mall’s slogan. The expansive shopping centre covers 70,000 square meters, and is situated right in the middle of Mamelodi’s bustling informal settlement.

Neels Fourie of LP Architects who designed the mall, explains the vision behind it: “The mall is bringing the retail sector closer to the community, making it more accessible to the people. Our vision was to create something powerful.”

Cole Briel, GEZE Southern Africa’s General Inland Manager, concurs, “The mall is stimulating new consumerism. It’s meeting the need of a growing community and is a strong new focal point of Mamelodi.”

Teamwork and tight deadlines
The extensive mall offers a full kilometre of flow, and yet the whole project was completed in record time. Co-developers Resilient and New Africa Developments appointed Beckers Building Contractor to construct this ambitious project.

Zampie van Heerden, On-Site Manager of Beckers Building Contractor, details the timeline: “This whole project was done in ten and a half months. No-one thought we could do it - but we did. The reason they project went so well was that we all worked together. There was amazing teamwork on the job from everyone involved. Everything was really well planned out, and it all fell into place.”

Cobus Mouton, Project Manager of Beckers Building Contractor, reiterates the effectiveness of the teamwork on the project, “The whole team was so involved in the project: Ourselves, the developers, the architects and sub-contractors. We addressed any issues that arose, we found solutions, and we made it happen.”

A fully comprehensive service
GEZE products in the mall include everything from a range of overhead door closers to floor springs to standard ‘commodity’ door hardware products for the building itself, as well as for many of its key tenants.

Neels Fourie explains how LP Architects needed an ironmongery provider who would partner with them throughout the project: “GEZE was involved in the whole process: from designing to supplying to installing. Their GEZE EZE BIM specifying software saved us so much time – they really took the scheduling off our hands. GEZE are specialists in what they do. They knew the ironmongery requirements and they supplied it in the right sequence to the contractor, which worked well.”

Zampie van Heerden reiterates that, on a project of this size, scheduling and clear numbering of ironmongery requirements is key. With four different architects designing the mall’s different key tenants, it soon became clear that more on-site support was need from GEZE. “GEZE appointed a dedicated person on-site for us, so this streamlined the process hugely. It saved a lot of time and we could get what we needed quickly,” he explains.

Adapting products to the market
The mall is one that sees extremely high volumes and heavy usage. Developers and contractors agreed that all fittings needed to be extremely robust in order to last. After a number of fittings were damaged even before the construction phase was complete, the collective team worked on solutions to customise fittings that would withstand extreme amounts of wear. From an ironmongery perspective this entailed putting additional grab screws in place - ones that went right through the spindle - to ensure that handles and locks stayed firm.

“GEZE are the ironmongery experts. I looked to them to come up with solutions that work in an African market. We need products that are highly robust: I have 800,000 people through these doors each day. In this market we also need products that are theft-proof: I have people stealing the cartridges out of cylinder locks in the bathrooms. So I needed a solution for that too,” says Saul Visser, Senior Project Manager, Resilient.

“These findings certainly afforded learnings for GEZE. It’s an ongoing project to constantly source new materials and create new products that adapt to the locations in which we operate,” says Cole Briel of GEZE.

Ongoing commitment
Cobus Mouton of Beckers Building Contractor describes GEZE’s ongoing commitment to a project, “Their service was good during the project, and afterwards too. We’re finishing off now with the last tenants and snags, and GEZE are still on board: If we need anything, we just give them a call and they’re there.”

“Every time  a challenge arose, GEZE come back to resolve the problem. I have a relationship with them: I know the guys. I’ve been working with them for 14 years,” agrees Resilient’s Saul Visser.