Unexpected Lift

Built-In Flexibility Helped a Project Team Erect the Tallest Building in Africa

Rising 55 stories above Johannesburg, South Africa's financial district, the Leonardo is a rugged yet gleaming mixed-use skyscraper. But it wouldn't be the tallest building in Africa unless the project team had anticipated a surprise growth spurt. The journey from a proposed 33-story edifice to a record-breaking, 233-meter (764-foot) behemoth has been long—with at least two major scope changes over the project's six-year construction phase. Five years into the US$209 million project, the sponsors agreed to fund the additional floors so the building could house a luxury hotel in the future.
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