The Mohammed VI Tower has already become the tallest building on the African continent. Although it is not yet finished, as only the structure has been built, it is expected to be filled in by 2022, the year in which construction will be completed. This is why this work of architecture is already the tallest in Africa, with a height of 250 metres and a glass ballistic missile structure.
Rafael de la Hoz, a firm of Spanish architects who are the designers of the complex, gave a conference at the Instituto Cervantes in Rabat in which they confirmed that the new tower "is intended to be the symbol of the new Morocco, and at the same time a demonstration of what the country is capable of. It is a very complex work".
The project began on 9 March 2016, when King Mohammed VI laid the first stone of the new skyscraper, at a cost of 357 million euros. This architectural work is composed of a base of 80-metre-deep piles that support the construction. It is then distributed over 55 floors and will be used, when completed, as living quarters, a hotel and the headquarters of various offices. It will also have 4,700 m2 of solar panels, making it a reference point for culture and the fight against climate change.
In De la Hoz's words, this building has an "Afrofuturistic" character style similar to those in films depicting advanced African locations and buildings, such as the kingdom of "Wakanda" in the Marvel superhero films, "Black Panther" (2018) starring the late Chadwick Boseman. Mark Devry coined the term "Afrofuturism" in 1993, when the film industries began making projects that drew on African and African-American cultures. This is why this new tower is classified in that aspect, since the buildings shown in futuristic African films are not a reality, and thanks to those films, many architects are being influenced and taking references to realise their plans on the African continent.
Rafael de la Hoz Arderius (1924-2000) was a renowned Spanish architect whose legacy is shaped by an eponymous architectural practice run by his son Rafael de la Hoz Castanys. In addition to this idea, the firm is currently working on other equally important urban planning projects in Spain, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Hungary, and the United Arab Emirates.
This new tower is located in the north of Rabat, the capital of the Kingdom, and is situated on the banks of the Bouregreg River, something that UNESCO rejected due to its proximity to the river and the importance of not building buildings near these natural sites, although the project went ahead. The tower will be close to Rabat's Grand Theatre, which will be unveiled next year at the same time and is designed by the late Anglo-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid. Hadid (1950-2016) is one of the pioneering women architects in the Arab world and is known for winning important prizes in this "world", such as the Protzker Prize in 2004, known as the "Nobel Prize for Architecture", and the Stirling Prize, from 2010-2011, awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). Among the architect's most important works are the London Aquatic Centre in 2012, the Rosenthal Contemporary Art Centre in 1998 in Ohio, USA, and the Bridge Pavilion at the Zaragoza International Exposition in 2008.