As the climax of a 30-year involvement in establishing Sandton as Africa’s prime development hub, this landmark 55-storey building expresses the elegant simplicity of its making, a stark contrast to the shapism that surrounds it.
In consequence of a lifelong professional relationship and history of successful development with the client, Co-Arc International were appointed as architects for this high-rise, commercial mixed use project.
As Architects of the Leonardo we used an approach that establishes the economic, social and environmental parameters for each new building, the tower is an appropriate response to climate and social factors as well as a highly innovative commercial model, designed to be complete and viable at a variety of heights. The structure and servicing are expressed in the form of the building, resulting in an articulated slender tower that has exceeded commercial expectation. The orientation and layout of the plans provide flexible floor space at every level of the tower, maximising views and minimising climatic effects.
With due regard to South Africa’s high level of unemployment, to maximise safety and labour utilisation, The Leonardo Johannesburg is largely constructed from concrete and masonry with the external skin consisting of transportable components, assembled and erected from the inside. Co-Arc International Architects and engineers team produced the groundbreaking use of engineered 'stone' as a cladding material which allows for a lightweight perimeter skin that forms a weather shield and creates shaded deep recesses for glazed balconies at every level: The refinement and the detailing and careful consideration of materials results in an apparently simple yet timelessly elegant facade.
The public is welcomed into the building via a triple-volume arcade and a series of ground public rooms to a variety of public facilities including a 5th floor podium terrace with an impeccable restaurant and 55th floor sky-deck. The Leonardo hotel is also still in the process of development and will be an enormous asset to the building.
Co arc gained an incalculable amount of experience in high rise design and construction. The tall tower in Sandton is a landmark not only in the urban design of Sandton, but also a landmark high-rise project for Co-Arc. The tallest building in South Africa has forever changed the skyline of Johannesburg and set a benchmark for sustainable highrise design in the city.