Nabemba TowerEdit profile
The Nabemba Tower, also known as Elf Tower, is an office skyscraper in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo. At 106 metres and 30 floors it is the tallest building in the Republic of the Congo as well as Central Africa, and may possibly be the only skyscraper in Central Africa that is taller than 100 metres. It is named after Nabemba, the second highest mountain in the country. The tower was built with borrowed funds from the French oil company Elf Aquitaine. The tower was designed by Jean Marie Legrand during the government's five-year plan and was built between 1983 and 1986. Various ministries and charities' offices are housed in the tower, such as the African Self-help Development Initiative, the New Partnership for African Development, and UNESCO. The tower is located directly on the Congo River in the south of the city, across from Kinshasa.
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The shape of the Nabemba Tower is slender, the sides towards the middle and bent inwards so it makes a concave cylinder. The tower is based on a rectangular pedestal that forms the main core of the shape. The facade consists of vertical lines with glass and light concrete, which reinforces its narrow shape. The floor plan, comprising the 6th to 27th floor, makes three concretic circles: in the middle there are elevators and technical facilities, then there are circular corridors, and finally these two rings are surrounded by an outer ring of offices, which are divided into segments by movable walls. The windows are sealed, but an air-conditioning system pumps cold air through a cooling system and regulates the temperature in the building. Three 430-kVA generators supply the building during the constant power outages in the city.
During the civil war in 1997, the Marxist dictator Sassou Nguesso returned to power and the Tour Nabemba was severely damaged. The ruins, however, were soon after rebuilt at a cost of £6,000,000, more than the actual construction costs. Every year the tower swallows £3,000,000 in maintenance costs - and that in a very poor country. The local architect Norbert Mbila describes the Tour Nabemba as "a strategic buildings from the prestige was built. It is neither useful nor necessary, as it swallows up a lot of maintenance costs."