ABOUT Ponte City
Located in the heart of Johannesburg’s central business district, Ponte City Apartments.
Ponte City dominates the Johannesburg skyline. The iconic Ponte City building, located in the heart of Johannesburg’s central business district, was acquired by The Kempston Group in the mid 90s’. This unavoidable 54-storey apartment building on the Berea ridge has become an icon of the city it towers over.
It remains a focal point of the city’s dreams, a lightning rod for a society’s hopes, and always a beacon to navigate by. This icon has been featured by CNN in an article on the urban renewal of the Johannesburg CBD. Ponte continues their development through the upgrading of the building and implementation of modern technology.
The building is cylindrical, with an open centre, allowing additional light into the apartments. The centre space is known as “the core” and rises above an uneven bedrock floor. When built, Ponte City was seen as an extremely desirable address due to its views over all of Johannesburg and its surroundings. The neon sign on top of the building is the largest sign in the southern hemisphere and advertised for the Coca-Cola Company prior to 2000. It currently advertises the South African mobile phone company Vodacom.
The principal designer of Ponte was Mannie Feldman, working in a team together with Manfred Hermer and Rodney Grosskopff. Grosskopff recalled the decision to make the building circular, the first cylindrical skyscraper in Africa. At the time, Johannesburg bylaws required kitchens and bathrooms to have a window, so Grosskopff designed the building with a hollow interior, allowing light to enter the apartments from both sides. Retail stores are situated at the bottom of the building to the convenience of the tenants and the surrounding area.
Ponte is also a film, video and photographer’s attraction. A lot of scenes from block buster movies were shot at Ponte. One of the final shots of the 2009 film District 9 is of the tower. The skyscraper “Peach Trees” featured in the 2012 film Dredd is heavily inspired by Ponte Tower. Parts of the film, Resident Evil: “The Final Chapter” and parts of the series, The Last Days of the American Crime, were also shot at Ponte City.