5 Architectural masterpieces in South Africa

Private Property South Africa
Carmel Woodman

A showcase of some of South Africa’s finest architecture in different corners of the country.

While South Africa may still be young architecturally, buildings all over the country represent its rich and diverse history, as well as its more modern present. As South Africa continuously reinvents itself, so does its architectural industry with some older buildings being revamped to become iconic structures. Below are 5 of the best works of architectural art in the country.

The diamond building

The Diamond Building

Built in 1984 at 11 Diagonal street in Johannesburg, this skyscraper is one-of-a-kind. It stretches 80 metres into the sky and is designed to look like a diamond, to reflect the views of the CBD from every angle of the building. Designed by Helmut Jahn, the building is being used to House the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.


The Union Buildings

The Union Buildings

Sir Herbert Baker’s greatest achievement, designed in 1908, are the Union Buildings in Tshwane. They were built from light sandstone and span 285 metres in length. Baker wanted the buildings to be made out of imported granite, but anything other than South African stone was not an option. The clock chimes are identical to the chimes of the Big Ben in London. Baker chose to use influences from the Italian and English renaissances, with Cape Dutch details like carved doorways and fanlights.


The African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel

The Melrose Arch hotel

One of the most innovative building designs in South Africa is the 118 room African Pride Melrose Arch hotel in Johannesburg. This hotel is afro-chic style at its finest, and has unique interior design features to display this, such as light wood floors and exposed brick walls. The hotel is situated just off the M1 highway within the exclusive urban Melrose Arch lifestyle development, a "city within a city. There’s a sophisticated lounge bar in the hotel, and an ultra-chic restaurant.


The Lost City in Sun City

The Palace of the Lost City

The Palace of the Lost City hotel is located in the world-class theme park, Sun City. Located in Rustenburg, 2 hours from Johannesburg, this resort is luxurious and lavish, with views of the Valley of Waves. The hotel has no less that 6 restaurants, an Olympic sized pool, an auditorium and 50 000 square foot casino. Designed by WATG Designing Destinations, a six-story rotunda was conceived as the royal entrance chamber which overlooks a magnificent palatial lobby lounge. The features are that of an ancient royal residence and are rich in detail.

The Moses Mabhida Stadium

Moses Mabhida Stadium

Located in Durban, this epic stadium was built for the 2010 Soccer World Cup. It features a SkyCar which takes visitors to the very top of stadium, to a viewing platform, where stunning views of Durban city can be enjoyed. The stadium is an engineering feat with an iconic arch over the top. It’s created from hundreds of columns which allow for natural ventilation, and add to the striking nature of the stadium.

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