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Standard Bank Centre
Johannesburg, Gauteng

HPP HENTRICH, PETSCHNIGG and PARTNERS: Architect
LTA: Contractor Leader of construction consortium

Date:1968
Type:Offices
Style:Modern
Status:Extant

 


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Coordinates:
26°12'23.74" S 28°02'21.78" E

The Standard Bank tower was built from the top down. The central core was built first followed by the three sets of cantilevered arms, from which each successive floor was placed in a downward sequence. Started 1966, completed 1968.

Submitted by William MARTINSON

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One of only a handful of “hanging” skyscrapers in the world (rumours persist of two others in Canada), this tower was constructed from the top down. The structure’s concrete floor plates were hung from a central service core, rather than supported on a more traditional column grid. Probably one of the country’s most striking skyscrapers, a delicate glass skin, supported by virtually invisible brushed-aluminium brackets, encloses the ground floor, blurring the boundary between private lobby space and the public urban plaza surrounding it. Precise modular interiors perfectly juxtapose the bank’s South African art collections, including colourful Cecily Sash mosaics on the office levels and Edoardo Villa sculptures in the gallery below the Simmonds Street plaza.

Source: Mod squad: Six marvellous South African buildings to know about by Brian McKechnie in Business Day, 14 September 2020.

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The 137 metre high building Standard Bank Centre in Johannesburg was a trail blazer in engineering, and the problems of erection of the tower block called for sophisticated planning and equipment far beyond that normally associated with building work. LTA was the leading member of the construction consortium.

South Africa's first hanging building, it was named the most outstanding civil engineering structure of 1969 and was completed early in 1970.

The success of the planning of the building, in the heart of the citys financial district, was aptly demonstrated by the erection of a floor every four days by working on three levels simultaneously.

Construction time for this prestige project was three years two months.

(Doran 1978:83)

These notes were last edited on 2020 10 13


Writings about this entry

Doran, Ian (Editor). 1978. Johannesburg. Johannesbrg: Thomson Publication. pg 83
Greig, Doreen. 1971. A Guide to Architecture in South Africa. Cape Town: Howard Timmins. pg 159 (+ ill.) & 161
Hentrich, Helmut. 1970. Standard Bank Centre Johannesburg. Johannesburg: Standard Bank Investment Corporation Limited. pg all