JV MoolmanGroup, Jonker Evolution and Group 44
Rand Steam is a small 5400m² convenience-oriented retail centre situated across the
road from the Milpark Hospital in Richmond Johannesburg. The centre is anchored
by three national tenants, namely, Pick n Pay, Clicks Pharmacy and Woolworths
Food. The balance of the tenants have a more bespoke offering and have been
carefully selected to cater to the needs of the neighbouring suburbs of Melville,
Westcliff and Parkview. The retail offering includes an optometrist, beauty salon, hair
salon, barber, art gallery, pet supply store, refurbished designer antique furniture,
clothing and gifting stores. A restaurant courtyard has been formed using some of
the reinstated heritage buildings which boasts four new restaurants that benefit from
covered outdoor seating, live music performances and a water feature.
The reinstated turn of the century Rand Steam Laundry buildings informed the
architectural language of the centre. The adaptive re-use of these structures guided
the arrangement of the centre on site. The use of industrial materials such as brick,
steel, glass and corrugated sheeting has followed through into the new structures.
Industrial cottage pane steel windows inspired the shopfront design. The matt
charcoal aluminium and steel elements tie the numerous brick, plaster and painted
finishes together. Services are largely exposed. Internally, clay stock brick walls are
simply sealed and left exposed at times. Polished concrete floors are encouraged,
along with exposing the historic timber rough sawn bolted roof trusses. The tenants
internal shop designs have largely taken these historical ques into account and
embraced them. This has created a harmonious collection of neighbouring shops
forming a community that feed off the energy of one another.
The Rand Steam Laundry has been resurrected to serve its local community, inviting
the public to experience a piece of Johannesburg’s heritage which until recently had
been lost. The buildings will now evolve, weather and gather a new set of narratives
which will be added to their history. Through the effort of many, the Rand Steam
story has been allowed to continue.