Two South African buildings have been shortlisted for the international Arcaid Architectural Photography Awards 2017 — one of the world’s foremost photographic prizes. And Johannesburg’s infamous but iconic Ponte Tower is one of them.
The Ponte Tower — sometimes erroneously dismissed as dangerous and rundown structure — has found new life recently after extensive renovations and upgrades to the structure and interiors. Its architectural relevance is now also being recognised, first as an example of modernist architecture, and secondly as a symbol of the city itself.
Ponte joins the recently completed Bosjes farm chapel in Ceres, Western Cape, which has been nominated in the exterior category. The building, designed by Steyn Studio, explores an undulating concrete outer form that has been compared to a sting ray, and has become a globally celebrated example of nondenominational chapel architecture.
Bosjes chapel and Ponte Tower are the only buildings from Africa to make the prestigious lineup of structures. They feature alongside other extraordinary structures like the Messner Mountain Museum Corones in Bolzano, capital of South Tyrol in Italy, by Zaha Hadid Architects, and the Folk Art Museum at the China Academy of Arts in Hangzhou, China, by Kengo Kuma. Read more