Johannesburg, South Africa, 2019

Solar trees enliven shopping mall in South Africa

Eastgate shopping centre has installed three solar trees on its roof terrace to supply the centre with solar energy and raise public awareness of alternative energy sources. At the same time, the Webnet ID equipped solar trees create an architectural enhancement.

Initial situation and concept:

The concept of the solar trees is to create an oasis and a place of encounter in the public space. The roof terrace area on the Eastgate shopping centre in Johannesburg was previously bare and unused. The environment heated up a lot during the day due to direct sunlight. For this reason, the space was not visited. There was a lack of activity.

The solar trees create new outdoor seating for the surrounding restaurants. They open up a playful community area where families and visitors can come together and enjoy a meal. This has resulted in increased foot traffic in the Eastgate Shopping Center since installation. The adjacent restaurants have also seen an increase in footfall. The integrated solar lighting from the trees illuminates the plaza at night and creates a wonderful atmosphere for all patrons in the area.

Design and implementation:

The design of the solar tree structures and their installation were carried out by Anchor ENGinuity. The selection of steel and installation of all components had to be carefully thought out, as the trees had to be perfectly symmetrical and 100 percent accurate with the Webnet installation. As a precaution, all steel components were installed at night so as not to disrupt the operations of the restaurants, which remained open. The weight of the steel parts was adjusted to the permissible limitations of the floor plates. The largest solar tree is an impressive 14 meters high and 14 meters wide. All trees have integrated lighting with a special solar lighting concept.

The Webnet used was specially tuned to keep all the diamonds the same from the top to the bottom of the net, despite the decreasing radius of the trees. This was to ensure that the Webnet IDs blended in perfectly, regardless of where they were installed on the structure. This provides much needed shading and an impressive architectural effect.

Details and geometry:

  • Tree 1: 14 m high x 14 m wide
  • Tree 2: 10 m high x 10 m wide
  • Tree 3: 6 m high x 6 m wide

Jakob products:

Webnet micro stainless steel net: Ø 1.5 mm / mesh 100 mm, total area: 253.44 qm
Webnet ID: Typ A-Rhombus – 7000 pieces
Solar tree structures and installation were carried out by Anchor ENGinuity.