(Rendering courtesy of Lex Wizhevsky) By Catherine A. Cardno, Ph.D. The small Republic of Djibouti, located on the Horn of Africa, might be known for its geology and landscapes, but it is garnering global attention for the design of a 243 m tall high-rise cultural and business center designed by architect Lex Wizhevsky. Containing three towers, the waterfront complex will create a physical representation of the country’s coat of arms. It will also contain the nation’s tallest complex of skyscrapers. (Rendering courtesy of Lex Wizhevsky) The central tower represents a spear and circular shield, with a star located atop it that will symbolize the nation’s unity. On either side of this tower are two symmetrical, 43-story tall towers designed in the form of traditional Djibouti daggers and decorated with elements of a laurel wreath. This wreath represents the country’s June 27, 1977, independence from France. (Rendering courtesy of Lex Wizhevsky) The towers will be used for finance and retail businesses. The complex will also include a luxury hotel, private residences, cinemas, shopping and dining, and a concert and exhibition hall. A four-level basement will be located under the complex, and observation decks and panoramic restaurants will be located atop the towers. The site for the project was secured this year, and the complex has been designated as a national project with the participation of the country’s president, Ismail Omar Guelleh. Work is underway to complete the project’s site engineering surveys in preparation for construction, according to Wizhevsky. (Rendering courtesy of Lex Wizhevsky) Building Design International Projects AUTHOR Catherine A. Cardno Ph.D.