|Bentel Associates International designs unique mixed-use
The mixed-use development at Bedford Square has been the vision of
developers Raymond and Budwa Abrosie of Bedford Square Properties (Pty)
Ltd for many years.
Bentel Associates International has designed this upmarket venture at
Bedford Square, in Bedfordview east of Johannesburg. The international
company is one of South Africa’s most diversified and innovative
architectural firms offering complete commercial architectural
services, with special emphasis on complex, mixed-use developments.
The R800-million Mediterranean themed complex will provide prestigious
residential, business, recreational and retail facilities in one of the
most exclusive suburbs in the country. Previously the site of an old
mine dump, the development on the corner of Smith and Kirkby roads is
situated across the road from the Bedford Gardens Shopping Centre.
“With upmarket premium shopping, entertainment, office, hotel and
residential facilities Bedford Square will be the embodiment of a
multi-faceted urban village, both respecting and enhancing the
surrounding town and environment”, says Nick Kyriacos, BAI project
director. “Our clients, the Abrosie brothers, specifically wanted to
create a Mediterranean village environment with a real sense of
Although the entire complex features a Mediterranean theme, the Bentel
team has designed each node with its own distinct character and
features. The piazza for example, will have ancient Mediterranean
The 160 000 m2 complex is being developed in three phases and will
include a 7 000 mē boutique hotel, 15 000 mē of retail shops, cinemas
and restaurants, 54 000 mē four-level parking basement, 17 000 mē of
office space and 30 000 mē of apartments.
An unusual addition will be a 150-seat Maronite Catholic Church with a
strong sense of history. The church will incorporate altars, pews and
other items from a 100-year old defunct Maronite Catholic Church in
Fordsburg, Johannesburg. A live-in priest will conduct daily services.
The heart of this development will be the central piazza. “As part of
the concept we have included a large congregation area in the form of a
European-style village square or piazza,” says Darryl Skinner, BAI
project architect. “The square will be the focal point of the village
where a sense of community and the outdoor environment can be enjoyed.
A retractable roof incorporated into the design will enable the piazza
to be utilised in all types of weather.
The entire complex will be fully integrated and the design includes
pathways and walking areas that will link the respective components of
the project thereby creating create a unique, pedestrian-friendly area
in a village atmosphere.”
Phase One of the development was completed last year and consists of a
cluster of luxurious townhouses featuring classic Mediterranean style
architecture and finishes. “We have designed a staggered roofline and
the facade of the townhouses has been created to appear as a collection
of different buildings,” says Nick Kyriacos.
The units range from 140m2 to 330m2 and are finished in classic or
contemporary style; the quality finishes include marble and wooden
floors, and granite and marble kitchen tops.
The second phase, currently underway, consists of three five-storey
apartment buildings with 108 luxury apartments. Phase Three includes
the 150-room, hotel, the church, a health hydro, the retail centre and
related recreational components as well as the commercial office space.
An increasing number of mixed-use developments are emerging in upmarket
areas. The features within a mixed-use village are mutually beneficial
to both commercial and residential occupants and result in more
integrated communities by affording residents and employees the
opportunity to live, work, and conduct business within the village
area, thereby minimising the need for transport.
“A fully mixed-use village is a relatively new concept in Gauteng. The
unique design and attention to detail of this prestigious development
will ensure that Bedford Square will be an excellent example of an
exclusive and completely self-contained village in an urban
environment,” says Darryl Skinner.
Bedford Square will be fully operational by the middle of 2007.
Residents and visitors will discover a vibrant village with a
streetscape of speciality retail and restaurant establishments, along
with luxury residential, office and hotel accommodations. Buildings of
varied size and scale with fine architecture and quality finishes will
line the piazza and define warm and inviting communal spaces.
Bedford Square - a unique lifestyle with a strong emphasis on a real
sense of community - it will be the perfect place to live, work,
worship, shop, and relax.