TWO commercial real estate developments in Ghana scooped top awards at the API Summit and Expo 2017 held in Johannesburg, South Africa at the end of August.
The 18,000-square metre Kumasi City Mall, the first one stop shopping destination for Ghana’s second city, won the Best Retail Development award. The project, developed by Atterbury, includes innovative features such as composite timber as cladding and breezeblock walls. The design stays architecturally sensitive to the region and includes green building features like natural ventilation, wastewater harvesting and LED lighting. The building was based on the African notion of gathering under the trees and as such is rooted within a Ghanaian forest analogy and the context of Kumasi.
Another Ghanaian development, the Accra Financial Centre, was judged Best Commercial High-rise Development. The Centre offers 14,648 square metres of prime office space in Accra – Ghana’s capital city. The project was developed in line with international health and safety requirements and includes sustainable features such as energy efficient lighting solutions, isothermally insulated cavity walls to help maintain internal temperatures that reduce the building’s dependence on artificial air conditioners. The development includes a ground floor retail bank, nine floors of A-grade offices, ample parking and an additional 314 square metres of retail space on the ground floor.
The Kigali Heights, in the Rwandan capital, received the Best Mixed-Use Development award. The development comprises a world class office block with 12,750 square metres of Grade A office space, 5,250 square metres of prime retail space and 300 parking bays. The 18,000 square metre development was designed with flexibility and energy efficiency at its core. Kigali Heights features green building solutions such as solar powered lighting that augments the national grid and an in-house sewerage treatment plant both firsts for any commercial building in Rwanda. The development boasts a series of functional spaces which have a strong identity.
Other winners were Garden City, Kenya for Best Green Building in sub-Saharan Africa, Strand Hotel, Namibia for Best Hotel Development, Karibu Homes, Kenya, for Best Housing Development, while the Best Architectural Design award went to DSA Architects for the Torres Rani Towers in Mozambique.
The Expo offered property developers, suppliers and owners the opportunity to showcase their best projects and services from across sub-Saharan Africa. The projects were judged on a wide range of criteria including location, infrastructure and transport access, integration into the environment, originality of the concept, technical and architectural quality, services offered, sensitivity to the local community, innovation, sustainability, corporate staff involvement, response to market demands, financial performance, occupancy, and the impact of the project on economic convergence.
The calibre of entries was world class and the judges had a challenging time selecting the winners, nevertheless they managed to hone in on the best projects. Here are the winners for each category from the 2017 Africa Property Investment Awards.
Kfir Rusin, managing director of API Events remarked that the winners ‘have set an exceptionally high standard for real estate developments across sub-Saharan Africa and continue to shape the African built environment landscape. API Events is proud to be associated with these companies and wishes to aid in further pushing the boundaries of excellence for African property development.’