Gauteng Tourist AttractionsDiagonal Street
Where? Diagonal Street, Johannesburg, Gauteng
How? Call +27 (0)11 482-3349
Johannesburg is the commercial epicentre of the Gauteng Province and of South Africa. As such, it is a significant hub of activities that range from retail and cultural to commercial and political. There is an almost endless array of things to do and see in the city. It is also the home of the OR Tambo International Airport, which has made Johannesburg the launching pad for millions of international visitors.
Diagonal Street is situated in the CBD of the metropolis, which is generally characterised by massive architectural features and impressive skyscrapers. The iconic building known as Eleven Diagonal Street was designed by Helmut Jahn, who is an acclaimed German-American architect that has worked all over the world. Its design is distinctively diamond, which fits in perfectly with the City of Gold and the treasures that it has yielded over the centuries.
This has been accomplished with the use of flat glass aspects, which reflect the sun at different angles, creating a sparkling effect. Standing tall on the Johannesburg skyline, glittering as its many glass facets catch and reflect the sunlight, Eleven Diagonal Street is one of the architectural delights of the City of Gold. As its name implies, this building is just one of the delights situated on Diagonal Street.
The whole of Diagonal Street is also of great significance, and is fascinating to tour. This was a region particularly affected by the segregation laws of the Apartheid regime. It was once a racially mixed area that was vibrant and diverse. Then, in 1950, the Group Areas Act was implemented, and Diagonal Street was reserved for white folk. Soon, it fell into disrepair and became totally neglected.
It was only in recent decades that Johannesburg’s CBD underwent an urban renewal initiative, which included Diagonal Street and its surrounds. This has made it a hub of activity and a far safer place to explore. It is now committed to preserving and promoting the inner city and the urban vibe that makes it so special and unique.