We all love the Lord of the Rings. At least, most of us do. And if you happen to be one of those many avid fans, we have good news for you. Developers in Morocco are planning to build the tallest building in Africa, it is supposed to stand some 1,770 feet (540 meters) and it looks remarkably like Barad-dûr, the home of the dark lord Sauron. The height of the tower is no coincidence. It was chosen because Africa has 54 countries, and thus, the height is meant to remind individuals of each of these nations (the height in meters, obviously). In truth, the real life tower will be a far cry from the home of the Dark Lord, at lest in height. According to the Lord of the Rings wiki, Sauron’s tower was some 4,500 feet (1,400 meters) tall.
However, the building will sill be pretty impressive. It is set to be taller than the 731 foot (223 meter) Carlton Centre in Johannesburg, which currently holds the title for tallest building on the continent. The world’s tallest tower is in Dubai, which is the 2,716 feet (828 meter) Burj Khalifa, which opened in January 2010.
If you take a side look at the designs for the new structure, it is supposed to look like a fountain pen., This appearance is meant to reference the tool that Sheikh Tarek Binladen is using to design the future.
If you are wondering, yes, Sheikh Tarek is related to Osama Binladen; he is his half brother. Yet, he is much more than this, and has been a well established businessman for years. He is the owner of the Dubai-based Middle East Development LLC.
The company behind the project estimates that it will cost an estimated $1 billion (800 million euros) to construct.
The similarities between the Al Noor Tower and Sauron’s abode can be clearly seen in the early concept art of the tower (pictured above). In these designs, the architects note that the top of the structure is mean to resemble an eye from the top view to symbolize the vision of Sheikh Tarek Binladen. You can see a comparison of the two towers in the image below. The first is the screenshot from the architect’s website (left) compared to Sauron’s tower (right).
The building will be called Al Noor Tower (the Tower of Light) and will be erected in Casablanca, Morocco. This project was designed by French architect agency Volade et Pistre. Soil testing for the building will begin in 2015, and if all goes well, the tower is due for completion in June 2018. It will have 114 floors, which is the number of chapters in the Koran. Additionally, the facade will be covered by patterns representing Africa’s 1,000 languages.
Of course, such structures often face a lot of hiccups, and they are generally massive undertakings. So time will tell whether the structure ever actually comes to be. But it is a pretty neat design in any case.
You can see an image of the full structure below as well as a video.