Durban’s architecture reflects the varied nature of its population and of its colourful history. The former is reflected in the profusion of Colonial, Cape Dutch, Indian and Oriental styles and the latter in the many Colonial, Victorian, Edwardian and Art Deco buildings.

Durban is one of the most significant repositories for Art-Deco architecture in the world.


Art-Deco is an architecture and design style which has its origins in Paris in the first decades of the 20th century. Art-Deco follows an ornamental and lavish style, and is characterised by stepped forms, curves, geometric designs, and motifs.

Durban, a developing and emerging city at that time – embraced this radical new design. Art-Deco buildings can be seen all around the city, most notably on the Victoria Embankment, in the City Centre, and on the Berea Ridge.

Modern ideas are reflected in a variety of modern skyscrapers, built to international standards, making Durban an area of true architectural interest.