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Howard Humphreys (now an Atkins company) was appointed by Britam to provide civil/structural design and construction supervision for a commercial building that would not only reflect the stature and image of the client but also contribute in shaping Nairobi’s changing skyline. The client’s desire was to have a sustainable building that will stand the test of time, a timeless piece.

Britam Tower gifts Africa its first Emporis Skyscraper Award

Published

 

on

 February 20, 2019

By

 Patrick Thuita 

Britam Tower in Upper Hill, Nairobi. PHOTO/FILE

For the first time in the Emporis Skyscrapers Award’s 19-year history, a Kenyan skyscraper has landed the contest’s top honour – becoming the first building in Africa to win such accolade.

Emporis’ panel of global experts has ranked Britam Tower the 10th best skyscraper in the world, from a pool of more than 250 towers completed in 2017 – each at least 100 metres tall – in a development that has helped Kenya to carve out a place in the world’s architectural map.

The 200-metre skyscraper, which sits on 1.5 acres on Hospital Road, comprises two separate buildings: a 31-storey office tower and a 15-storey parking silo with an interlinking bridge at the top floor which offers alternative means of evacuation during emergencies.

Britam Tower, a landmark in Nairobi, has a total lettable space of 350,000 square feet with 1,000 parking bays – attaining one of the highest parking ratios in the Kenyan capital.

Emporis judges were impressed with the project’s energy efficiency as well as the building’s prismic design that is achieved by having a footprint with four corners and then a roof with only two.

Britam Tower was designed by GAPP Architects & Urban Designers and Triad Architects.

Commenting on the award, Triad Architects said it takes pride in leading the design and construction of Britam Tower even as it continues to design award-winning buildings in Africa.

“Our approach is to design creative and unique spaces that meet current international standards and are infused with an elegant local flair. We are proud to be associated with this prestigious list of outstanding skyscrapers,” the firm said in a statement.

The annual Emporis Skyscrapers Award is regarded as the world’s most coveted prize for high-rise architecture – grading the 10 best buildings in the world regarding their design and functionality.

To qualify, nominated buildings must have been completed during the year of the award, and must be at least 100 metres in height. In the 2017 ranking, the top spot was clinched by Lotte Tower – 555-metre glass and steel behemoth, which sits near the banks of Central Seoul’s Han River.

The 5th tallest building in the world was feted for its design which combines modern elements with classical forms from Korea’s art and culture.

The runner-up award went to the 177-metre Generali Tower in Milan, while the 229-metre 150 North Riverside in Chicago came in third. Below is the full list of the winners.

Lotte World Tower.