Johannesburg is set to take its place alongside the world's most iconic cities with 'Lumen' which will become an instantly recognisable global landmark transforming the city's skyline
Absa, a member of Barclays, today switched on the world's largest Light Emitting Diode (LED) display. This world first will transform the Absa Towers building in Johannesburg's CBD making it an instantly recognisable icon in the city's skyline. The technological innovation is an integral part of a wider ten-year inner city rejuvenation project that Absa has embarked on and shows its commitment to the City of Johannesburg as a leading centre for business on the African continent.
Crowning the 29 storey-high Absa Towers building, each of the four giant LED screens is almost twice the size of a basketball court (40 metres long and 18 metres high), and can be seen from a radius of up to 1.5 kilometres from the ground and 2.5 kilometres in the air.
The screens - collectively dubbed Lumen - are bigger than those that make London's Piccadilly Circus and New York's Times Square instantly recognisable. Lumen features the most advanced LED technology used on this scale making it a world first.
The newest addition to Johannesburg's skyline is indicative of Absa and Barclays' commitment to cutting-edge innovation technology* and urban regeneration.
Lumen follows the development of Absa Towers West, a five star green-rated building that is the head office of Absa and Barclays Africa and is the latest step in the Group's regeneration programme**.
The rejuvenation of the Absa campus will ensure an enhanced environment not only for customers and employees, but also for other businesses and entrepreneurs in the CBD. It also reinforces Absa and the wider Barclays Group's commitment to the City of Johannesburg and will make a significant contribution to the city's 2040 Growth and Development Strategy and its vision for a World Class African City of the Future
Bobby Malabie, Absa and Barclays Africa Group Executive for Marketing, Communications and Public Affairs, says: "Africa is made up of some of most dynamic and fastest growing economies in the world. Our investment in Lumen is a vote of confidence in Johannesburg as one of the leading cities on the continent. We have committed to building and running the Go-To bank in Africa and we believe that Johannesburg is the perfect base from which to do so.
"Lumen is a significant step in a ten-year project that will regenerate and revitalise the Johannesburg CBD and supports Absa and the Barclays Group's fundamental value of Stewardship. This value is underpinned by the notion that no matter which realm we are active in, we will always leave things better than we found them. Supporting this notion, Lumen will become a landmark that will not only be instantly recognisable in Johannesburg, but on the world stage.
"As we progress and grow our business across the 13 African countries that we have operations in, Lumen will become the beacon from which we will share our stories of how we are helping people achieve their ambitions - in the right way."
Lumen employs energy-saving technology with LED tiles that boast the lowest power consumption in their class. To offset some of the carbon emissions on Lumen, Absa is building one of the largest rooftop solar photovoltaic farms on top of Absa Towers North in South Africa.
To offset the remaining carbon emissions Absa is also rolling out a programme run by Absa Insurance and EcoNavitas to subsidise solar geysers by 60% to more than 750 households This is the first time a programme to subsidise solar geysers has been launched in South African and represents a community investment of about R3.85 million.