By Shem Oirere
Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa, may boast Africa’s tallest building by 2017. While a 58-story building had been announced, plans unveiled by a private Chinese developer now call for a 99-story office-hotel tower. Guangdong Chuanhui Group has not revealed the building’s estimated cost or other details, including financial arrangements or the names of the architect and engineer.
The site for the Chuanhui International Tower is at the new Addis Ababa Exhibition Centre. The developer says it has acquired the 41,000 sq meter site and the building plans have been approved.
If built, it would supersede by 225 m Africa’s current tallest tower: the 50-story Carlton Centre in Johannesburg.
With a population of about 2.8 million, Addis Ababa is the country’s commercial and industrial center, according to the website of the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations. Further, the capital is the seat of the African Union (AU) and the United Nations’ Economic Commission for Africa and hosts more than 92 embassies and consulates. Several other international organizations also have headquarters or branch offices there.
Skyscraperpage.com lists 17 buildings taller than 12 stories in Addis Ababa; the previous tallest building identified by the site is the proposed 52-story Commercial Bank of Ethiopia headquarters, designed by Henn Architekten, Universal Consultants.
Other tall buildings under construction include the 22-story KK Tower, whose architect has not been identified, and the 14-story African Union Grand Hotel, whose architect is Simon Barakat Architects. Both projects started construction in 2011 and are expected to be completed this year.
While floors three to 55 of the proposed supertower are designed for offices, floors 78 to 94 have been set aside for a 217-room Regency Hotel, according to a statement by Chuanhui, Guangdong Province, China.
Further, Chuanhui has allocated 2,600 sq m for an exhibition hall and ballroom. Occupying 27,000 sq m, the ground floors and basement have been earmarked for retail. A public library will occupy another 1,500 sq m. There will be underground parking for 1,100 vehicles, and 10,000 sq m of the site is reserved for green space.
If completed, the tower would be renamed the Meles Zenawi International Centre to honor the memory of former Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.
The tower project is one of several projects Chuanhui has planned through its Sino-Ethiopian Chuanhui Investment Holding Group. One project is to establish the so-called Chuanhui Industry Zone, which aspires to be the largest cement production zone in Ethiopia. Another project is to build a large automotive and maintenance center, and yet another is to create a diesel-generator supply-maintenance center jointly with the Guangdong Chuanhui Group and the Shangdong Zibo Diesel Generator Corp.
Guangdong Chuanhui, Science and Technology Development Group Co. Ltd., referred to as the Chuanhui Group, was founded in 1989. It is one of the Guangdong Province’s earliest private group companies.
Source: Engineering News