“The Forest” is a high-density office project that is currently in development in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Designed by Mumbai-based Sanjay Puri Architects, the project’s form — a vertical tower — responds to existing rules that govern construction in built-up areas: the ratio of permissible built-up area is nine times the plot area.
The 93-meter-tall (approx. 305 feet) tower includes a double-height entrance lobby and coffee shop, community space, and rooftop terrace, in addition to a range of office spaces. The tower’s vertical circulation core sits on its southern side — this works to mitigate heat gain while at the same time extending privacy to the existing 15-story residential buildings on that side.
Sanjay Puri Architects oriented the tower’s offices towards the north and north-west, offering the best views of the Congo River. “The building shape provides peripheral glazing surfaces [that orient] towards the river,” says the studio. "Capturing maximum river views at the shortest distance, the balconies are aligned [with] and project radially from the offices.” Placing the offices on the tower’s northern side also reduces heat gain by facilitating natural, indirect light into the office spaces.
The concept of The Forest is taken from the idea of an African forest: “[We created] a structure that replicates a dense tree via parabolic balconies that embark upon the building façade,” says Sanjay Puri Architects. With the building’s intricate design, its angled balconies overlap at adjacent floors to provide double- and single-height balcony spaces for every office. “The building shape, with its projecting decks, allows integration of open spaces with enclosed ones,” says the studio.
The Forest tower’s creative and complex form draws on relationships between different design elements. For Sanjay Puri Architects, “the form generated by the blend of building shape and balconies creates a parametric envelope of repetitive cascading elements to develop a unique identity.”
Site Area: approx. 2,907 square meters (31,291 square feet)
Built Area: approx. 42,108 square meters (453,247 square feet)
Completion Date: September 2025