One of the most iconic buildings attributed to the African Continent has to be the Mauritius Commercial Bank located in Port Louis, the capital city of the Island Nation. Designed by Jean Francois Koenig Architects, the building sits on a site of about 28 000 sqm with a footprint of about 480 sqm and cost around 40,000,000 EUR to build.
Its elegant form, masterful use of space, and efficiency in our tropical climate, combined with an exquisite selection of materials puts it in that conversation of “Africa’s most impressive architecture”.
Here’s the architect’s description,
Founded in 1838, the Mauritius Commercial Bank is the oldest Bank in Mauritius and the Indian Ocean region. It has played a leading role at the forefront of its economy and development. Based in the capital city of Port Louis, it outgrew its present headquarters and required expansion into new premises on a site at the centre of the island closer to the living areas of the population. The new building is an ellipse which sits on 4 travertine clad pillars themselves resting on championship golf lawns covering the roofs of the service areas, staff canteen and kitchen. The requirement for an auditorium and lecture theatre informed the design for the need of a sloping floor generating the lower half of the elliptical shape. The upper half of the ellipse accommodates double mezzanines on both sides connecting management on the top floor with departments on the lower two floors. The building was the first in the southern hemisphere to be granted British Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) certification. The building was chosen to represent the best of the architecture of the continent of Africa amongst a total of 5 projects at the International Union of Architects (UIA) 2011 world congress in Tokyo.