BY STEPHANIE BROOKE FRIEDMAN
“Al Noor Tower” (Tower of Light)—slated to begin construction in Casablanca next June—will become the tallest skyscraper in Africa, dethroning the current holder of this distinction, Johannesburg’s 223-meter-high Carlton Centre. The tower is part of a larger project from Dubai-based Middle East Development, “Al Noor City“ (The City of Lights).
Designed by Valode & Pistre, the highly symbolic skyscraper—expected to cost $1 billion—will soar 540 meters high to represent the 54 African countries, and will have 114 floors to reflect the number of chapters found in the Koran. Its facade has been designed as a pixilated representation of Africa’s one thousand languages.
Expected to be completed in 2018, Al Noor will cover a massive area of approximately 3,229,173 square feet, and will contain a 200-suite luxury hotel; a trading platform; a conference hall; and a large art gallery, in addition to a staggering 100-meter-tall atrium that hollows the tower’s base.
The tower’s website states, “The design of Al Noor Tower is elegant and gives the feeling of a wedding dress. From the side, the tower looks like a fountain pen, which is the tool that Sheikh Tarek is using to design the future. The height of the tower is 540 meters to remind us that Africa has 54 countries. Everyone in Africa will feel part of that tower.”