Port Elizabeth could get a 27-storey glass tower dedicated to Nelson Mandela

A 27-storey glass tower that will serve as a monument and interactive museum to the late Nelson Mandela has won a design competition set up by Nelson Mandela Bay in the city of Port Elizabeth.

The city opened a competition to all South Africans to design a new precinct for Nelson Mandela Bay, with a consortium including Makeka Design Lab, Gregg Scott and partners, M&C Saatchi and Abel, and prominent PE businessman Khusta Jack winning the day with the “Tower of Light”.

The new precinct would honour Madiba’s contribution to South Africa, as well as elevate the city’s status as a hub for socio-economic transformation, tourism and employment opportunities.

According to Makeka Design’s Mokena Makeka, the concept was to create a “towering beacon of light that spoke to the light that Mandela brought to the world, a light that resides within all of humanity”.

“We have positioned the landmark as crucial generator of economic growth and access to new public assets, by catalysing a reimagined waterfront neighbourhood for the citizens of Nelson Mandela Bay and the world,” he said.

The monumental Nelson Mandela Bay Tower of Light is an interactive museum, with each of the 27-storeys marking a year that Nelson Mandela spent in prison. It will take visitors on a ‘multisensory journey’ through the life and times of Madibaa, culminating in a reflective tower on the top floor that includes a chrome statue of the former president.


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Port Elizabeth could get a 27-storey glass tower dedicated to Nelson Mandela