Al Faisaliah Tower, Riyadh
Playing a key part in Riyadh’s urban development, the 240,000 m² Al Faisaliah Complex is centered around Saudi Arabia’s first skyscraper – a distinctive 267m high office tower – alongside a five-star hotel, a banqueting and conference center, luxury apartments and a three-floor retail mall. The scheme carefully balances cost-effectiveness and flexibility to produce buildings which are efficient in services, planning and operation, and yet is responsive to the Middle Eastern climate.
At the heart of the complex is the office tower. Square in plan, the building is designed around a compact central core which tapers to a point, with four main corner columns defining its unique silhouette. Punctuating stages up the building’s layered facade, observation decks correspond with giant K-braces, which transfer loads to the corner columns. Each section between these decks is clad in silver-anodized aluminum panels with cantilevered sun shading, which minimize glare, allowing the use of non-reflective, energy-efficient glass and providing maximum control over the internal environment. Above its 30 floors of office space, the tower houses a restaurant set within a golden glass sphere 200m above ground level.
Immediately below the golden globe there is an outside viewing deck, which provides a breathtaking panorama of Riyadh and the surrounding landscape, while above it, at the building’s pinnacle, the tower narrows to a brightly lit lantern, topped by a stainless-steel final.