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130 CONSTRUCTION |Bentel Associates International Bentel Associates International began life in 1960, making a name for itself developing the first stores associated with
the Pick n Pay brand, which
has since become one of the biggest supermarket chains in South Africa. Over its 57 years of trading, Bentel has remained firmly in the retail sphere across Southern Africa, but this has not stopped the architectural firm from branching out into several areas of construction all across the continent, and also beyond Africa’s borders.
In 2004, Bentel opened a second regional o ce in Mumbai as part of a bold growth plan centred on taking advantage of architectural demand across emerging
global markets. Today, Bentel has a total sta  compliment of around 150 across three o ces in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Mumbai, which provides the company with a strong engine-room in order to cope with the management of several projects of all shapes and sizes.
In the last two decades, Bentel has been involved in a series of mega-scale projects across South Africa, stretching back to the opening of Cape Town’s landmark Canal Walk and the opening of the Montecasino Entertainment Complex in the early 2000s. However, according to the  rm’s business development director Tim Harlech-Jones,
Bentel’s greatest strength lies in o ering expertise to emerging markets across sub- Saharan Africa.
“The emerging market is where we have our expertise. Whether in South Africa, Botswana, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana or wherever else we are doing business, we understand how to deliver in these markets,” says Harlech-Jones.
Multi-disciplined approach
Having played an important role in the development of a number of projects within the sector across Africa’s emerging markets, Bentel has developed a reputation as a specialist in retail architecture. But, mastering this trade has not prevented the company from growing its business into other pertinent sectors.
For example, Bentel has often worked on commercial projects including o ce blocks, hospitality and mixed-use developments, o ering services that range from architectural and graphic design to urban planning. This multi-disciplinary approach a ords clients of Bentel a holistic project package and also prevents the  rm from being pigeon-holed into just one area of expertise.
“Part of our approach is very much a holistic approach, and it’s not just about designing
a building but a ‘brand’ which the building will be known for. The logo, what it stands for, the signage, the graphics, the interior design are all part of the architecture which is

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