WIT Press

Rehabilitation Of The Hotel Africa Building


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WIT Press


S. Elhouar & M. Mhiri


For the last thirty years, the Hotel Africa building has been dominating the skyline of Tunis, the capital of Tunisia. With its light-blue colored curtain-wall fa├žade and sidewalls, this twenty-three-story building has been one of the defining landmarks of the Tunisian capital. Whether you enter the city by land, sea, or air, it is the Africa hotel building that is the first to extend a warm welcome to you as it stands relatively tall between the many other low-rise buildings in the downtown Tunis area. Just recently (2000), the hotel was acquired by new owners who decided that it was time for it to get a face-lift. Their plan mainly included the replacement of the aging and deteriorating curtain wall, the creation of floor space at the second floor level to allow for the addition of a new restaurant, and doing away with the night club on the 21st and 22nd floors and using the space for additional guest rooms. In addition, the building needed to be brought up to date to comply with current safety and fire regulations and resolve some sound proofing issues. Bearing in mind the age of the structure and considering the fact that the proposed enhancements and modifications may entail significant changes in the applied loads, it was deemed necessary to model the structure and analyze it to ensure compliance with current design regulations. This paper discusses the approach, problems encountered, and solutions adopted to meet safety, functional, esthetic, and budget requirements of the project. The first section is devoted to providing a general overview of the building with a description of its existing structural system, the second section details all the changes that needed to be introduced to the building and their effect on the structure, and the last section describes the adopted solution and its implementation. Keywords: building rehabilitation, steel construction, composite design, Africa hotel, Tunis, curtain wall.


building rehabilitation, steel construction, composite design, Africa hotel, Tunis, curtain wall.