The Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar is planning the highest green building in the world, a 28-storey apartment tower designed in hybrid timber technology. Named Burj Zanzibar – “burj” meaning tower in Arabic – the spectacular high-rise is designed to reach 96 metres in height. Dubbed “vertical green village”, it would represent an iconic landmark not only for the island but for the whole of Africa and a global environmental milestone, being the first timber structure worldwide of such proportions. The design of the mixed-use apartment and commercial building, in a playful beehive style with breathtaking ocean views, was unveiled to the public in Muscat, Oman on 1 October. Dutch-born architect Leander Moons, responsible for the concept, said: “Burj Zanzibar is not just an outstanding building but a new ecosystem for the future of living”.
The residential tower with 266 residences is to be located in Fumba Town, East Africa’s pioneering eco-town developed by German-led engineering firm CPS. Categorised as a strategic investment and fully supported by the Zanzibar government, the growing city near the capital, where foreigners are allowed to buy, stretches along a 1.5-kilometre seashore on the southwest coast. “Burj Zanzibar will be the highlight and natural continuation of our efforts to provide sustainable housing in Africa, thereby empowering local employment and businesses”, elaborated CPS CEO Sebastian Dietzold in Muscat.
With turquoise seas, white sandy beaches and a UNESCO-protected historic Stone Town, Zanzibar recorded 15% annual growth in tourism in recent years and 6.8% economic growth. Earlier this year, the semi-autonomous archipelago, 35 kilometres off the coast of Tanzania, stretched its wings also into another direction, launching an initiative to attract African tech companies with a total worth of six billion dollars.