Platz am Meer, Award winning centre, celebrates one year

The new waterfront development in Swakopmund Platz am Meer celebrated its first birthday this September by receiving a prestigious award from the SACSC.

At the SACSC Retail Design and Development Awards, Platz am Meer was awarded winner in the category International Shopping Centres in recognition of excellent design resolution and innovative construction solutions. MPW Architects, in association with MDM Architects and Safari Developments, were commended as the project Architect and Developer for converting this spectacular waterfront location in Namibia into an inviting lifestyle centre of retail, restaurants and residential. The centre has maximised its location in terms of setting and views and combines covered shopping with open promenade. The entire project has a strong focus on sustainability with natural ventilation, natural light and photovoltaic electricity.

Shopping centres normally have large roof areas making them ideal for photovoltaic electricity generation. In Swakopmund, with its high electricity costs for the coast, the sensible option for Platz am Meer was a solar power system. Natural light is as important in managing the electrical demand so great care was taken to flood the mall with natural light from all sides, using glass panels to admit daylight. Walkways are naturally ventilated with the airflow controlled by the opening and closing of clerestory windows according to the need of the day and thereby eliminating artificial air conditioning. Safari Developments took great care in selecting high-quality materials and suitable building techniques for this unique environment. With the sulphur rich mist in Swakopmund causing aggressive and corrosive conditions, innovative installations were crucial, such as the imported self-adhesive roof tiles containing no metal. Such finishes will enhance the lifespan of the building and simultaneously reduce the need for costly maintenance works and frequent improvements to finishes.

This new landmark in Namibia has over 70 stores and includes a number of national retailers opening their doors for the first time in Swakopmund. Bank Windhoek, Standard Bank, and FNB are part of the shopping centre while Eight Plates Gym provides a healthy distraction. The promenade boasts 12 sea view restaurants of which Avairy Coffee Shop has been designated by FNB as Café/Bistro of the Year; Bluegrass as Restaurant of the Year. The Kids’ play area on the promenade provides entertainment for the young while Streethouse Gaming Centre will open inside the centre on the first of December. Anchored by Checkers the centre offers an impressive mix of retailers including Woolworths, Edgars, Dis-chem, Cape Union Mart, Studio 88 and many more.

Platz am Meer also offers the discerning investor offices and luxury apartments and penthouses with beautiful views over the harbour and ocean. It is clear that the charming environment and typical coastal lifestyle of Namibia will be celebrated from this place for many years to come.