Africa’s tallest apartment building was built for luxury but filled with garbage

Johannesburg’s Ponte Tower was built in 1975 as a monument to luxury. The enclosed space at the center of the cylindrical apartment block was to house shops and a dry ski slope; some of its apartments were three stories tall and came with inbuilt hot tubs. But Ponte Tower fell into disrepair, and became a dirty, dangerous place.

Philip Bloom’s short film shows a pile of detritus three stories high where Ponte Tower’s dry ski slope should be. He tells the story of a tower that grew more dilapidated over 30 years, as Johannesburg’s moneyed classes moved away from the city center and out to the suburbs. But he also tells of the change that came to the building and its residents in the mid-2000s, when South African investors stepped in….

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