Case Study

The Leonardo

Co-Arch International Architects
Project manager
Bongane Msiza (Specification Manager) Rama Govender (Commercial Manager)
Legacy Group

Sandton Johannesburg South Africa

Description: The Leonardo is a 234-metre skyscraper within walking distance of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the headquarters of some of Africa’s biggest companies. This new architectural landmark has redefined the skyline, becoming the highest building in Africa, and introduces a new concept of luxury living to its residents. It houses 254 apartments, a three-floor penthouse and five floors of office space as well as shops, restaurants, a gym and a herb garden. The luxury apartments were built with aesthetics and functionality in mind. Gyproc Habito® board was specified and finished to the highest standard (Q4) with a Rhinolite® Multipurpose full skim. Acoustic performance between and within apartments was also a consideration solved with various Gyproc RhinoBoard® Drywall Solutions. This landmark in architecture and engineering is not merely symbolic of a new era of African development, but stands as a reminder of how innovative and flexible approaches can realise unexpected heights.


  • Narrow street front and single but busy access area made product delivery difficult.
  • Bespoke construction details including drylining and services integration; supports; sanitary fittings and product application.
  • Deflection detail: not only on drywall systems but also sanitary systems to compliment these. A steel Geberit support system was specially designed and manufactured to perform within the desired deflection along with drywall.
  • Bespoke façade and drywall system details created to provide the allowable movements; deflection details in coordination with the façade systems manufactured.
  • Isover cavity insulation for façade systems; acoustics, and thermal comfort.
  • Steel post installations within cavity for rigid support of walling systems and use of Habito® boards for handrail mounting.
  • Waterproofing – sequencing challenges resolved through coordination with Contractor and Project Manager


Unique fire rated deflection head detail created Worked closely with Structural Engineer to provide twin-frame details that pass through concrete beams; stairs and balustrades. Created a unique 120-minute fire break detail Façade T-Junction details solved for Single and Twin Framework