Light sculpture of a mother giraffe and its baby at the shopping center Mall of Africa in the city of Midrand, Gauteng, South Africa.
#Retail Real Estate    09/05/2018

Year-round lighting turns visits to shopping centers into experiences

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In 2013, MK Illumination South Africa was commissioned to create and install an illuminated Eco Tree made for Cradlestone Mall. The tree, which shone in the sun by day and glittered in the night with hundreds of energy-efficient light points, rapidly became mall’s permanent icon.

The tree stood proudly for several years, complementing the striking design of the award-winning mall, photographed by many of the tens of thousands of visitors to the mall each month.

In 2017, a devastating hailstorm hit Johannesburg, ripping off roofs, tearing through buildings and damaging vehicles. Cradlestone Mall was badly affected, and one of the casualties of the storm was their iconic Eco Tree.

Twitter Status (October 2017)

In early April, our team in South Africa installed a brand new Eco Tree at Cradlestone Mall and it once again lights up the nights for visitors.

From an icon tree to iconic giraffes at Mall of Africa

The Mall of Africa is situated in Midrand in Gauteng and is the largest single-phase shopping mall to be built in Africa. They wanted lighting for the festive season with an African theme that would be relevant to South African shoppers who visited the mall.

The solution? Our team in South Africa designed and installed a pair of giraffes, mother and child, to keep watch over the square beside the children’s play area and in-ground water fountains. The gold-plated 3D structures reflected the sun until night fell, at which point the thousands of built-in LEDs would illuminate the animals.
Originally the giraffes were planned as a temporary installation, but in April, The Mall of Africa asked us to leave the pair in place permanently as they had become a popular feature as well as an emblem of the mall for many visitors.

Why are malls making the move from temporary lighting to permanent lighting?

We’re going to explore this question in more detail in May, but for now, we’ll leave you with this: malls found that visitors associated these large-scale light sculptures with the malls’ brands, and many explained that the tree and giraffes contributed to a positive visitor experience.

Have we caught your attention? Then look out for next month’s feature on permanent experience lighting installations, where we’ll also give examples of permanent experience lighting in other parts of the world.

If you think that your shopping mall, outlet center or public space might benefit from permanently installed lighting that enhances visitor experiences, get in touch to explore ideas and options.

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