Called ‘LUMEN’, the project consists of four giant TV screens which will be used to carry digital branding similar to London’s Piccadilly Circus and New York’s Times Square.
The initiative is part of a wider 10-year inner-city rejuvenation project that Absa, which is part of the Barclays Group, has embarked on to show its commitment to the city of Johannesburg as a leading centre for business on the African continent.
Crowning the 29-storey Absa Towers West, each of the massive light-emitting diode (LED) screens is almost twice the size of a basketball court at 40 metres long and 18 metres high.
They can be seen from a radius of up to 1.5 kilometres from the ground and 2.5 kilometres in the air.
Bobby Malabie, Absa and Barclays Africa Group Executive for Marketing, Communications and Public Affairs, said: “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 10-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.”
LUMEN use energy-saving technology with LED tiles that boast the lowest power consumption in their class. To offset all carbon emissions from the screens, Absa is building the largest rooftop solar photovoltaic farm in South Africa on top of Absa Towers Main.
Absa is also launching a programme run by Absa Insurance and EcoNavitas to subsidise solar geysers by 60% to more than 750 households. This is a first in South Africa and represents a community investment of about ZAR3.85m (approximately £276,000 at current exchange rate).
Absa is majority-owned by Barclays.