Cosmo Mall Bridge - Malibongwe Drive.

After having completed the internal and external signage for the 22 000m2 Cosmo Mall, AE was contracted by the owners of the centre to take on another project: signage on the pedestrian bridge crossing Malibongwe Drive. The mall is situated on the Eastern side of Malibongwe Drive, with Cosmo City, a large and dense residential area, situated on the Western side of the busy main road. The new bridge was necessary to provide safe access across the road for pedestrians. The bridge would not only serve the public, but also become a landmark in its own right.

Signage was required to name the bridge and give it its identity. The 1.6m high individual letters were no easy feat, however, as the sign had to comply with several provincial Roads Department regulations, fit in with the architect’s aesthetics of the bridge, and still be visible and robust, weather proof and as maintenance-free as possible. The project required close communication with all parties involved, from the client and architect to the engineers and manufacturers of the bridge. AE built samples to test the effects using different materials, colour and lighting; samples that assisted with obtaining approval from the necessary parties and regulators. Much planning and consultation went into designing a fixing system that was ultimately simple and easy to install, and the letters can be easily accessed for servicing or removed should the need ever arise.

Our solution was galvanised sheet metal skeleton letters with inset halo illuminated faces. This construction method offered good structural strength and durability. The placement of the letters also presented a challenge as they had to fit within the fixed structural support members of the bridge, and they were also positioned at an angle facing down towards the road. We used a contrast of white and dark grey letter faces to give optimal visibility both during the day and at night, while still achieving the specified allowed lighting levels. The lighting needed to be of such a level that the sign would be visible, but at the same time not too distracting to motorists. This project is proof that great signs, effective in their place and appropriate in their setting, can be born from the years of experience, expertise and production facilities that AE has to draw from.