At 540 meters high, the Al Noor Tower is slated to be the tallest skyscraper in Africa – and it's set to break ground next year. Based on an original concept by Project Manager Amédée Santalo, Denis Valode of Valode & Pistre is designing the Moroccan skyscraper for Middle East Development, run by Sheikh Tarek Binladen. Planned for Casablanca, the tower will act as the gateway to Africa from Europe, and it will represent all of the nations of the continent. There's just one downside: all we can see when we look at the conceptual images is the Eye of Sauron from Lord of the Rings.
Although its location is yet to be confirmed, the Al Noor Tower is slated to be built in Casablanca—Morocco’s largest city—and will also become the tallest skyscraper in Africa, beating the 223-meter-high Carlton Centre in Johannesburg. Clocking in at 540 meters in height, the tower will include 114 floors, which also represents the number of surahs (or chapters) in the Quran. The exterior of the tower will be covered in patterns representing Africa’s 1,000 languages. Inside, the tower will include a 7-star luxury hotel, business center and conference hall, a luxury shopping area, restaurants, and more.
Valode & Pistre designed the tower to be as elegant as a wedding dress, but took inspiration from the sleek aesthetics of a fountain pen. Viewed from the side, the silhouette does in fact resemble a fountain pen, but come on; it’s really just the Eye of Sauron with a giant shiny diamond in the tip instead of an eye. Valode & Pistre explain that the pen is symbolic as the tool that Sheik Tarek is using to design his empire, and the “eye” represents his vision for the future. Construction on the estimated $1 billion (£637 million) project is expected to begin in the summer of 2015, and the tower should be completed by 2018.
Images © Middle East Development