8 Of The Most Expensive Buildings In Africa
For a corporation or country to justify spending tens- or hundreds-of-millions of dollars on a building, the structure has to have the promise of bringing in tens- or hundreds-of-millions of dollars in business. Architectural firms are chosen for their ability to create spaces that will attract high-end and wealthy clientele looking to purchase luxury homes or spend the night in expensive accommodations. But not all the buildings listed here were built just for short-term reward. Some of the most expensive buildings in Africa were investments for the greater good, built to serve the public with education and African unity in mind.
Hilton Durban, South Africa $61 million
The Hilton Durban sits conveniently next to the Durban International Convention Centre, and it’s near the beach. The luxury, 327-room hotel has 21 floors and some stunning modern furniture. Durban-based architects group FGG Architects and Sweden-based White Arkitekter AB, one of Scandinavia’s leading architectural practices and among the 10 largest in Europe, built the hotel. The project took them two years.
Michelangelo Towers, Johannesburg, South Africa, $64 million
The Michelangelo Towers hotel promises an experience tailored to the guest, and it has attracted the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Kanye West, and Michelle Obama. Johannesburg-based firm Bentel Associates International built the hotel, which connects directly to the Sandton Convention Centre, so people needn’t step outside to go between their accommodations and their business meetings. The property is home to one of the most expensive penthouses in Sandton, valued at around $3 million.
West Hills Mall, Accra, Ghana, $93 million
This Augustus Richardson creation is not your ordinary mall because inside it houses a 1,500 person capacity open air theater space for concerts and theatrical shows. The mall opened its doors to shoppers in 2014 and is jointly owned by Gauteng-based Delico Property Development Limited and the Social Security and National Insurance Trust of Ghana. It boasts several major chains including Woolworths, Shoprite and Food Inn.
The Pearls of Umhlanga, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa, $138 million
This luxury apartment complex overlooks the ocean on the Umhlanga coast. It houses apartments, duplexes, and penthouses around breathtaking grounds and pools. The Pearls is a collaboration between U.A.E.-based Creative Kingdom Inc., Cooper Architects, and Durban-based Seedat & Seedat. It’s still underway and set to be done in 2017, but when completed, the structure will have a luxury boutique retail component, zen gardens and children’s play areas.
Portside Tower, Capetown South Africa, $138 million
At 448-foot Portside Tower is the tallest building in Cape Town and the first high rise to go up in the city for over two decades. The building is a collaboration between South Africa-based DHK Architects and Johanessburg-based Louis Karol Architects and is just 32 feet below the maximum permitted height for a Cape Town building so as to not interfere with views of Table Mountain and the larger urban area.
Corinthia Hotel Tripoli, Libya, $152 million
Maltese Corinthia Hotels International operates Corinthia Bab Africa Hotel in the heart of the business district in Tripoli, Libya. Malta-based architects Xuereb Martin & Associates built the hotel and Prime Minister Shukri Ghanem first opened it in 2003, when it was originally called the Corinthia Bab Africa Hotel. In 2015 the property was the site of brutal terrorism but remains a luxury destination for business people visiting the area.
African Union Conference Centre and Office Complex, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, $200 million
The Chinese Government sponsored the development of the African Union Conference Centre and Office Complex, headquarters of the African Union. The building is just over 327 feet tall making it the tallest building in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It was part of China’s continuing effort to strengthen bonds in Africa.
Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria, Egypt, $220 million
Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta built the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Alexandria, Egypt. The building is the largest library in the world and in addition to books, it houses a planetarium, several museums, a school for information science, and conservation facilities. The building can accommodate 8 million books, but currently, only has around 600,000.
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