The Umhlanga Magazine, September 2019                                                                                      

The newly re-imagined Lighthouse Quarter is the outcome of the challenging yet successful refurbishment of an outdated retail space in the heart of Umhlanga Village. The retail space previously known as Lighthouse Mall was given a new lease on life through the architectural design undertaken by Sphere Design & Architecture together with the main contractor on site, Macwin Construction.

Lighthouse Quarter is perfectly located on the corner of the Lighthouse Road and Chartwell Drive. The opportunity to maximise on this prime position could not be passed up by the owners, especially given the recent boom of new development in the immediate vicinity. Sphere Design & Architecture was tasked with the design challenge of streamlining several previously disjointed spaces and roofs, into a practical and cohesive space that supported the client and 3D Property Solution’s brief of creating a world-class al fresco dining experience. Using the client’s dream as inspiration for the design concept, Sphere focused the design intent on drawing from the charm of old-world artisanal street trading and dining culture. A second driver was to the align the mall with the contemporary context in which it suddenly found itself, meaning that a complete upgrade to new finishes and functional, seamless spaces would be of primary concern to the team through the design and construction stages.

The design intent was indeed met, as the new Lighthouse Quarter was rationalised into a voluminous primary concourse, connected to the bustling Chartwell Drive via three secondary passages. The new open roofs allowed for these circulation spaces to be flooded with natural light and ventilation; the markers of spatial quality. The spatial offering is further improved by the installation of an undercover outdoor seating area which directly relates to the street and passers-by. Meticulously crafted detailing and attention to every finish selected resonated with the artisanal craftsmanship present in great street-centred spaces around the world.

Drawing on the charm of an old-world street culture combined with new and refreshed finishes brings a contemporary, yet warmly familiar, character to a landmark destination in Umhlanga Village.