Advances in engineering methods and materials has seen man erecting buildings that reach for the sky and symbolise a nation’s power and self-pride. Similarly, some African countries have built colossal structures that strain the neck and scrape the heavens. Here’s a list of the top 10
Located in inner-city Johannesburg, this skyscraper and shopping centre has come to be known as tallest building in Africa. 223 metres, is no joke by any yard stick. The building was designed by an American architectural firm and officially opened in 1974.
Many have said that, on a clear day, if one stands on the top floor of the building, one can see as far as the country’s capital Pretoria – over 60km away!
2. Hassan II Mosque
This great mosque is situated in Morocco’s famed city of Casablanca. The building stands at 210 metres and its minaret is the largest in the world. Completed in 1983, the building stands on apromontory and has a glass floor through which one can see the sea bed.
The building was built to honour the memory of the departed King Mohammed V.
3. Ponte City Apartments
When one thinks of the Johannesburg skyline, there is no other building that could serve as a better icon of the city as Ponte City apartments.
It is quite something to look at. It is cylindrical in form, has a hollow centre (“the core”) which allows natural lighting to enter the apartments, and is built on a uniquely uneven rock floor. At 173 metres, it is no doubt the tallest residential building in Africa.
4. Bahia Centre
Algeria’s Bahia Centre is a shopping centre and 500-room hotel which stretches to 162 metres in height and boasts 31 floors.
5. NECOM House (NITEL Building)
NECOM House is the tallest building in Nigeria and in all of west Africa. The 32-storey building stands at 160 metres and houses the headquarters of NITEL, the principal telecommunications company in Nigeria.
6. Marble Towers
Originally known as ‘Sanlam Centre’, Marble Towers is the third appearance by Johannesburg on this list. Made up of concrete and marble it is used mostly as an office block. Attached to it is an eight-storey parking garage and the building reaches a height of 152 metres.
7. The Pearls of Umhlanga
The Pearls of Umhlanga, also known as Pearl Dawn, the resort located north of Durban is an architectural marvel. Having won numerous for its aesthetic appeal and location the building also stands at 152 metres.
Inside the building, one can find luxury holiday apartments for some of South Africa’s well-heeled citizens.
8. South African Reserve Bank
The Reserve Bank is the tallest building in Pretoria and has a black glass and Rustenburg granite facade. This tower block, basement and cantilever-supported auditorium used 80 000 cubic metres of concrete.
It houses South Africa’s central bank and is 150 metres tall.
9. 88 On Field building
Located in Durban’s central business district, 88 on Field is 147 metres tall. It was built in 1985 and is used for office space.
10. Ministry of Foreign Affairs building, Cairo, Egypt
The building where Egypt’s foreign policy is decided features last on our list. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs building in Cairo stands at a height of 143 metres.
At a cost of 127 million Egyptian pounds (US$18m), the building has six basement floors at 3,600m² per floor. Floors 7-36 each contain 1,700m² of office accommodation, while penthouse floors 37-40 contain 1,000m² per floor. Floors 41 and 42 are service levels.