5 Architectural Wonders of South Africa


5 Architectural Wonders of South Africa

In our previous blog, our Sebago Urban Explorer took to the streets to explore the local food and fashion spots in South Africa. We’ve come to enjoy this series so much; we’ve decided to add another edition to the series. 

This time we take to the streets of South Africa in search of the architectural wonders this country has to offer. These locations stretches from businesses to museums, governmental departments and even a tree house. So, strap on your docksides and enjoy a walk through the architectural wonders of Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria.



The diamond building in Johannesburg was built in 1984 at Diagonal Street, JHB. This incredible skyscraper was one of a kind (in its time) as it stretched 80 metres into the sky. The design was inspired by the shape of a diamond; rather fitting for a city built on the mining industry. With its reflective surface you can see the CBD from every angle of the building. 

This architectural marvel is currently being occupied by the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.


Union Building

The union building is considered to be the most significant achievement by Sir Herbert Baker. Designed in 1908, the Union Building located in Tshwane (Pretoria) and was built from light sandstone and spans a length of 258 metres and 17 000m². The designer originally envisioned this building as a granite structure. However, a stone native to South Africa was an important requirement. This building has clocks which have a chime identical to Big Ben in London. 

Baker found inspiration for this building from the Italian and English renaissances with Cape Dutch details along the doorways and fanlights – a true representation of the history of our country.

- V&A Waterfront CPT


Zeitz Mocca is the latest addition to the architectural wonders of South Africa. This contemporary art piece is a part of the repurposed Silos, which were sourced from the former grain silo district. They transformed these silos into new buildings along with this contemporary Africa Art Museum. 

This unique building was designed by Heatherwick Studios (based in London). Their focus were to transform the silos into an art house. The Zeitz Mocca was nominated as one of 2018 Times World Greatest places to visit, and we couldn’t agree more.



Designed by local architecture firm, Malan Voster , they created an incredible architectural experience by elevating the simple concept of a tree house and transformed it into a tranquil escape that locals and visitors can enjoy upon visiting the beautiful Constantia area. 

This award-winning construction can be alikened to something out of a fairy. With its commendable exterior, the tree house holds a deck patio, bedroom, living room and communal space, nestled amongst greenery of the woodlands area.



What would an article like this be without including a church or chapel? South Africa is known for having beautiful and historical churches all over the country, one of which is the Bosjes Chapel located in Worcester, just outside of Cape Town. 

Built by a London-Bases architectural firm, Steyn Studio – this beautiful chapel drew inspiration from Psalm 36/7 and was designed to appear to be floating on water. The critically acclaimed chapel is something to gaze and has people from all over the world flocking to the Cape to see it. 

Whenever you have time to spare and feel like exploring, there’s no need to book a trip overseas – explore the marvel and splendour our beautiful country has to offer, in a city near you.