Developer unveils plans for Africa’s first hybrid timber tower in Zanzibar

The 96m tower is planned for Fumba Town, the location of the “Silicon Zanzibar” initiative to attract tech companies to the fast growing island (Courtesy of OMT)
Developer CPS Zanzibar this month unveiled the design of what could be Africa’s first hybrid timber residential and commercial tower on the island of Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean off Tanzania.

The so-called “Burj Zanzibar” (“Burj” means “tower” in Arabic), designed to be 96m high, is planned for the new Fumba Town that CPS Zanzibar is also developing on the southwest coast some 15km south of Zanzibar International Airport.

Fumba Town is the location of “Silicon Zanzibar”, a public-private initiative led by the Zanzibar Ministry of Investment & Economic Development to attract African and global tech companies.

Prior to the pandemic, Zanzibar experienced GDP growth of 7% or more between 2017 and 2019.

German architects OMT and Birk Heilmeyer Frenzel designed the tower based on a concept by Leander Moons Inc. KnippersHelbig was structural engineer.

CPS Zanzibar said the 266-unit tower would have a steel-reinforced concrete core, with cross-laminated timber and glulam comprising other structural elements.

OMT says the tower is scheduled for completion in 2027.

“Burj Zanzibar will be a widely visible new landmark for Zanzibar and beyond, not only because of its appearance but because of its construction method,” said Leander Moons during the launch event on 1 October in Muscat, Oman.

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