Man-Made Wonders of Johannesburg


We’ve got some pretty cool man-made wonders in town – here are some of our favourites. 

johannesburg architecture

Carlton Centre

Also known as the roof of Africa, at 223 m the Carlton Centre has been rocking the record books as the tallest office building in Africa since 1973. With 50 floors, the foundations are 5 m in diameter and extend 15 m down to the bedrock with nearly 50% of the floor area existing below ground. It used to house the luxurious Carlton Hotel and one of its most prominent guests was no other than Hillary Clinton. It takes only 45 seconds to go from the ground floor to the 5th, which is known as the Roof Of Africa.

Address: 150 Commissioner St, Johannesburg, 2001.


11 Diagonal Street

Designed by German-American architect Helmut Jahn, 11 Diagonal Street was designed to look like a diamond reflecting in the Jozi sky. With floor-to-ceiling windows, the 80-meter high building stands out among the other skyscrapers. Construction was concluded in 1984 and… come to think of it…it kind of looks 80s. Retro!

Address: 11 Diagonal St, Johannesburg, 2001.


The Anstey’s Building

During the late 1930s, an art-deco styled building popped up in downtown Johannesburg. At the time, it was the tallest building in Africa and was owned by a guy called Norman Anstey. Anstey ran the Anstey’s Department Store.

Address:  59 Joubert St, Johannesburg, 2001.


Hillbrow Tower

The most prominent structure in town is the Hillbrow Tower (no Jozi skyline tattoo is complete without it). Fun fact about this building is that it always needs to be higher than the tallest building in town so that the telecoms signals sent from it won’t be interrupted. Pretty cool, eh? Unfortunately, it’s closed to the public due to security reasons, though it used to host a revolving restaurant at the top.

Address: Hillbrow Tower, Banket St, Johannesburg, 2038.


Michelangelo Hotel

The most iconic feature of the Sandton skyline stands out like a spire on the horizon. The Michelangelo Hotel is where celebrities and world leaders stay when they visit the city, from Justin Bieber to Barack Obama and just about every other A-grade celebrity in between. At 140 m tall and between R30 000 and R60 000 per square meter per month, The Michelangelo Hotel is nothing but the most exclusive kind of real estate in Africa.

Address: 135 West St, Sandton, Johannesburg, 2196.


Ponte City 

Last but not least, we have Ponte City. This high rise was almost turned into a vertical prison until developers snatched it from ruin. This once-upon-a-time slum of a skyscraper boasts a 100% upper-middle-class occupancy. Ponte is an iconic point of interest and acts as a beacon to the neighborhood of Hillbrow. Though the neighborhood itself has a bad reputation, it’s seen an ample amount of upliftment since Ponte’s redevelopment.

Address: Joe Slovo Dr, Johannesburg, 2198.


By Shawn Greyling

Have you been to any or all of these glass and concrete monsters? Let us know in the comments section below. Help us spread the love for Jozi by sharing this article on social media. 

Subscribe to our



Follow us


More Articles

Subscribe to Joburg and stand a chance to win an evening dining at Pontinha de Xai Xai to the value of R1 500! *

Monthly Joburg subscription competition form. (Started in May 2024)