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The 10 Tallest Buildings In Africa

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Published in Design
Saturday, 11 July 2015 00:00

While skyscrapers remain more sparse in Africa than in Asia and North America, a significant number of African cities possess distinguishable skylines. Initially, only a small number of major financial and commercial centers boasted large skylines, such as Lagos, Johannesburg, Nairobi, Harare and Abidjan. However, since the 2000s, skyscrapers have been constructed in many other African cities, including Cairo, Maputo, Abuja, Kampala, Cape Town, Durban, Addis Ababa, Dar es Salaam, Luanda and Port Louis. The following are a list of the Ten tallest buildings in Africa

Carlton Centre 

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

Pinnacle Height: 223 m (732 ft)

Floors: 50

Year built: 1973

Carlton Centre with Carlton Hotel on the left

Carlton Centre is a skyscraper and shopping centre located in downtown JohannesburgSouth Africa. At 223 metres (732 ft), it has been the tallest office building in Africa since 1973. The foundations of the two buildings in the complex are 5 m (16 ft) in diameter and extend 15 m (49 ft) down to the bedrock, 35 m (115 ft) below street level.

The building houses both offices and shops, and has over 46 per cent of the floor area below ground level. The Carlton Centre is linked to the Carlton Hotel by a below-ground shopping centre with over 180 shops.

Ponte City Apartments

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

Pinnacle Height: 173 m (568 ft)

Floors: 54

Year built: 1975

Ponte City is a skyscraper in the Hillbrow neighbourhood of Johannesburg, South Africa. It is built to a height of 173 m (567.6 ft), making it the tallest residential skyscraper in Africa. The 54-story building is cylindrical, with an open center allowing additional light into the apartments.

The center space is known as “the core” and rises above an uneven rock floor. When built, Ponte City was seen as an extremely desirable address due to its views over all of Johannesburg and its surroundings. The sign on top of the building is the largest sign in the southern hemisphere. It currently advertises the South African mobile phone company Vodacom.

UAP Tower

Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Pinnacle Height: 163 m (535 ft)

Floors: 33

Year built: 2015

UAP Tower is a 33-storey office complex in Nairobi’s Upper Hill district, Kenya. UAP Tower hit the record of becoming the tallest structure in Kenya upon its completion in 2015 surpassing Times Tower which in a long time held that record. It also is the highest point in Nairobi.

UAP Tower is owned by the UAP holdings, an insurance firm in Kenya. It has a rentable area of about 29,000 square feet, and will also house the UAP Headquarters once its completely finished


Location: Lagos, Nigeria

Pinnacle Height: 160 m (520 ft)

Floors: 32

Year built: 1979

NECOM House (formerly NITEL Tower) is a skyscraper in Lagos, Nigeria. The 32-story building was completed in 1979, and houses the headquarters of NITEL.The communications spire at the top of the tower serves as a lighthouse beacon for Lagos Harbor. The building is constructed of concrete. The building is the tallest in Nigeria and the entirety of West Africa.

PSPF Towers A & B

Location: Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

Pinnacle Height: 153 m (502 ft)

Floors: 35

Year built: 2014

The PSPF has a postmodern architectural style. The construction began on 2011 and was completed on 2014. The building has offices, retail stores and parking garage.

Marble Towers

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

Pinnacle Height: 152 m (499 ft)

Floors: 32

Year built: 1973

The Marble Towers is a skyscraper in the Central Business District of Johannesburg, South Africa. It was built in 1973 and is 32storeys tall. The building has an eight-storey parking garage attached to it. It has the biggest electronic sign in the Southern Hemisphere, measuring 44 metres by 32 metres by 12 metres . It is made out of a mixture of concrete and marble. Its main use is for commercial offices. The building was originally known as ‘Sanlam Centre’.

It is located on the corner of Jeppe and Von Wielligh Streets.

Pearl Dawn

Location: Durban, South Africa

Pinnacle Height: 152 m (499 ft)

Floors: 31

Year built: 2010

South African Reserve Bank Building

Location: Pretoria, South Africa

Pinnacle Height: 150 m (490 ft)

Floors: 38

Year built: 1988

The Pearls of Umhlanga, situated on North Coast of KwaZulu Natal, is a spectacular residential resort offering a choice of luxury apartments, duplexes and penthouses close to the region’s most desirable stretch of coastline.

Historically known as a seaside resort town, Umhlanga has developed into a suburban paradise. Only a 10-minute drive from King Shaka International Airport, this bustling town is ideally positioned on KwaZulu Natal’s northern coastline, 16 kilometres from the vibrant Port City of Durban which is commonly referred to as the Gateway to Africa.

Pearl Dawn features Studio, 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedroom luxury apartments. Ultimate opulence can be experienced in all of the units, which has beautiful and chic interiors. The apartments are designed in a contemporary style and exude the highest quality fittings and fixtures.

Built  by Burg Doherty Bryant + Partners, the South African Reserve Bank Building is situated at number 370 Stanza Bopape Street (previously Church Street) in the nation’s capital. It is the tallest building in Pretoria and has a black glass and Rustenburg granite facade.

It was completed in 1988. This was the first flush-glazed glass tower block in the Southern Hemisphere. The curtain wall design was developed by the architects in conjunction with a specialist from the USA and input from the PG Glass Company in South Africa. There is a stainless steel, non-representational sculpture “Untitled” by Johan van Heerden which was specially commissioned to complement the building.

Metlife Centre

Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Pinnacle Height: 150 m (490 ft)

Floors: 28

Year built: 1993

The Metlife Centre, is a 28 floor, 120 metre tall modernist skyscraper situated close to the Cape Town International Convention Center in the City Bowl area of Cape Town, South Africa. The spired antenna on the building’s roof is 22 m/72 feet tall and was lifted into place by helicopter just prior to its completion in 1993.

88 on Field

Location: Durban, South Africa

Pinnacle Height: 147 m (482 ft)

Floors: 26

Year built: 1985

88 on Field is a skyscraper in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. This is the tallest building in Durban by spire height and cost 40,000,000 US Dollars to build. Before this building was built in Durban, the design was submitted (and rejected) for a design competition in Kentucky, USA

Also known as Southern Life Building, it has entrances on both Field Street and West Street, so it was originally called 362 West Street . The mechanical equipment for the rooftop is housed in a central interior core on the 24th floor.

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Online Editor at Interarchtiv Media Company

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