Restoration And Repurposing Of The 123 Chinhoyi Street Shopping Arcade by STUDIO 5 ARCHITECTS

123 Chinhoyi Street Shopping Arcade stands in stark contrast to surrounding buildings in downtown Harare CBD – With its white terrazzo cladding, contemporary large spanning windows and the evident black sun shading devices. The project was completed in March. When project managers Old Mutual, consulted Studio 5 Architects they requested a complete restoration and redesign of the building to meet the new functional needs and take cues from current architectural trends.

Delomic Construction IS A BUILDING AND CIVIL ENGINEERING CONTRACTING COMPANY, WHICH WAS INCORPORATED IN 1999 TO SERVICE THE EVER EXPANDING CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY. WE ARE COMMITTED TO MAINTAINING OUR POSITION AS “THE ULTIMATE BUILDING PARTNER” IN THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN REGION.

Throughout the decades Delomic Construction has established a pristine reputation of furnishing the built environment with high quality structures, providing clients with a pleasant project experience. We specialise in civil works, construction and renovations. Our portfolio in civil works includes road surfacing, sewer and water drainage, and servicing of residential and commercial stands. Our work in construction includes, the building of residential, commercial and industrial structures. Our experience spans from single, double, and three storey buildings. We have successfully undertaken the construction of diplomatic residences, rural and urban clinics, supermarkets and educational infrastructure.

Renovations expertise within the fold includes internal and external, ceiling installations, shop fitting, office partitioning, paint works, additions and alterations to buildings and plumbing systems. We have garnered experience in restoration of structures whose integrity has been compromised by weather elements, such as fire and floods. Our success in such delicate projects lies in the cohesive efforts of our SHEQ and Project Engineering teams who ensure that the restorative works are executed timeously whilst adhering to world class SHEQ standards.

We recently worked on the restoration of the 123 Chinhoyi Street Arcade that was gutted by a fire which broke out in the mall on 31 December 2019.

The building itself has a fascinating history, having served as a Standard Chartered Bank branch until it was shut along with many other branches. After the closure of the branch, the same building became a flea market with vendors spread around the ground floor space.

A fire broke out in the mall on 31 December 2019 destroying most of the tenants’ belongings. The cause of the fire was not ascertained and was later ruled an accident. It would be over a year before renovations started. The renovations started in April 2021 after a lengthy structural assessment performed by Studio Five Architects and the engineer.

The structural assessment process mainly involved investigating the integrity of the structure to meet new functional needs. Research was also conducted on how to strengthen the existing structure with minimal impact. During these initial stages it was decided that the plumbing, the tiling, the roofing, the electrical system, and many other aspects of the structure were in were in need of repair.

The Standard Chartered Bank owned arcade has three floors including the mezzanine. It is a mixed-use building design with offices, shops, stalls, meeting rooms and even a restaurant on the second floor. The basement area which was previously a storage safe for Standard Chartered Bank will house a printing business in the second phase of the project. The renovations started in April 2021 after a lengthy structural assessment performed by Studio Five Architects and the engineer.

The structural assessment process mainly involved investigating the integrity of the structure to meet new functional needs. Research was also conducted on how to strengthen the existing structure with minimal impact. During these initial stages it was decided that the plumbing, the tiling, the roofing, the electrical system, and many other aspects of the structure were in were in need of repair.

The Standard Chartered Bank owned arcade has three floors including the mezzanine. It is a mixed-use building design with offices, shops, stalls, meeting rooms and even a restaurant on the second floor. The basement area which was previously a storage safe for Standard Chartered Bank will house a printing business in the second phase of the project. The interior is painted cream to give an illusion of spaciousness to these cubicles which differ in sizes. Kamatech was subcontracted for electrical wiring which involved installing sockets in every shop. Each occupant will be supplied with a key to lock up their cubicles at the end of business hours as an extra security measure. The building also has fourteen roller shutter doors and once they are all shut, there is a central lock system prohibiting access to the building post b All of the windows had to be removed during the restoration process. Alumen Shopfitters was sub-contracted to fit aluminium windows and doors throughout the building. Larger spanning windows were installed to facilitate natural lighting and ventilation in the arcade which is poised to be a hive of activity.

The deck, an additional feature built in to add more shops and offices above the ground floor shops, is accessible through a staircase on the northern far end of the building. The second floor houses an innovation hub, media and graphic design offices, an open sitting area, meeting rooms and lettable offices. Delomic Construction used a mixture of porcelain and ceramic for tiling, putting porcelain tiles in areas that normally experience high traffic because of the material’s durability, especially the ground floor areas. The terrazzo cladding on the interior walls is both old and new terrazzo unlike on the facadewhere it’s exclusively new terrazzo.

The old terrazzo dates back to 1963. Some of the terrazzo finishes had not been affected by the fire and only needed specialist cleaning. In about six months the washed terrazzo and the new terrazzo will match in colour in such a way that one wouldn’t be able to distinguish the old from the new.

To add on to the two ablutions on the first floor and the disabled one on the ground floor, another set of ablutions can be found on the second floor, two for men and two for women again side by side.

These are modern restrooms complete with granite countertops, drop-in basins and hand dryers. Twelve more restrooms are to be established in the basement in the second phase of the project. The floor on which the dining area sits had to be extensively restored. Water penetration had damaged the beams so much that the floor was unstable and threatened to cave in. After the structural assessment, instead of removing the damaged concrete beams, the original beams were repaired and thereafter, extra steel beams were added to ensure maximum safety in the case of carrying capacity exceeding the specified load.

A special chemical was sourced from South Africa to repair the beams and the beams were restored to 98% of their original integrity. The kitchen is right beside the open sitting area and is designed in line with the fire bureau regulations to withstand heat in case of future fires breaking out. Adalet fitted the kitchen with thick 2-hour fire rated double doors and a fire escape system with firefighting water tanks being installed in the second phase of the project. A solar geyser is to be installed later on for the purpose of supplying the kitchen with hot water. A 5000-litre water pump delivers water into the two large reserve tanks installed on the rooftop. Water is then supplied from the tank to all parts of the building by gravity. This is a temporary measure as water will be pressurised in the second phase of the project.

Also on the cards is a solar power project expected to take most of the space on the rooftop. The long-term plan is for the shopping arcade to run exclusively on solar. The exposed flooring on the rooftop has also been waterproofed using a torch on water proofing membrane to guard against water penetration as had happened before The refurbishment of 123 Chinhoyi Street Mall conveys a breath of fresh air to its urban context which is downtown Harare. This invigorating adaptive reuse of the building is forward looking both in its concept and design. It contributes to sustainable urban developments within a critical zone of the city currently grappling with urban decay challenges. Through its conversion to an inclusive mixed-use facility, number 123 Shopping Arcade helps propel downtown Harare towards a world class-city status in the near future.

It is such projects that are at the core of Studio Five Architects an award winning architectural company based on five principals:

  1. Inclusivity (including access for disabled and blind people).
  2. Sustainability – both in terms of design and materials.
  3. Modernity – in design and function.
  4. Innovation – creating solutions for challenging projects.
  5. Integrity – full transparency in client relationships.

Founded in 2015 Studio 5 offers a full turnkey service that includes architectural and development design, project management, interior design and landscaping Studio Five Architects works on a myriad of design and project management projects ranging from commercial structures, restoration projects, institutional buildings for schools and universities, residential designs, industrial buildings, health care facilities, churches and interior designs. Studio Five Architects’ list of recent clients include University of Zimbabwe, Gwanda State University, MUAST (Marondera University), NOIC (National Oil Infrastructure Company of Zimbabwe) property giant Old Mutual, Cell Insurance, Smartvest, Glow Petroleum and NMBZ Holdings Limited. Studio Five Architects is also a recipient of the IAZ Sustainable Design Award 2022 in recognition for the House of Honde project.

Studio 5 is situated at 5 Chalfont Road, Greencroft.

Email: info@studio5architects.com

or admin@studio5architects.com

Call: 0783 934 290, 0719 690 587, 0772 807 122, 0242 332 98


 


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