Al Faisaliah Complex, Building, Architects, Image, Design, Development, Photo

Al Faisaliah Complex, KSA

Riyadh Project, Saudi Arabia design by Foster + Partners Architects, UK

21 Nov 2008

Location: Saudi Arabia (KSA)

Dates built: 1994-2000

Design: Foster + Partners

Al Faisaliah Complex, KSA - Riyadh Building
Al Faisaliah Complex photograph : Nigel Young, Foster & Partners

Al Faisaliah Complex Riyadh

Playing a key part in Riyadh’s urban development, the 240,000-square-metre Al Faisaliah Complex is centred around Saudi Arabia’s first skyscraper – a distinctive 267-metre-high office tower – alongside a five-star hotel, a banqueting and conference centre, luxury apartments and a three-storey 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.

Al Faisaliah Complex, KSA - Riyadh Building
Al Faisaliah Complex photo : Nigel Young, Foster & Partners

At the heart of the Al Faisaliah 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- anodised aluminium panels with cantilevered sunshading, which minimise 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 Al Faisaliah Complex tower houses a restaurant set within a golden glass sphere 200 metres above ground level. The observation deck below this globe 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 finial.

Al Faisaliah Complex, KSA - Riyadh Building
image : Nigel Young, Foster & Partners

The Al Faisaliah Complex tower itself is set back from the King Fahd Highway to create a landscaped plaza. Beneath this a banqueting hall can accommodate activities ranging from Islamic wedding ceremonies for up to 2,000 people to conferences for up to 3,400. The high degree of flexibility of its internal spaces is achieved by a unique long-span arch system which provides a column-free space 57 metres wide and 81 metres long, with a moveable partition system that can divide the hall into a maximum of sixteen separate rooms.

These areas are integrated into the rest of the complex by a five-storey lobby at the tower’s base, also linking the Al Faisaliah hotel to the north and the apartments and shopping mall to the south. Illuminating this space, a spectacular coloured-glass wall by the artist Brian Clarke announces the entrance to the complex while referencing images from Riyadh’s desert and Islamic culture.

Tallest building in Saudi Arabia

Client: King Faisal Foundation
Consultants: Buro Happold, Buro Happold, Buro Happold, Brian Clarke, Sandy Brown Associates, WET design.

Al Faisaliah Complex images / information from Foster + Partners

Al Faisaliah Complex Riyadh design : Foster + Partners

Location: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (KSA), Middle East

Architecture in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabian Architecture Designs – chronological list

KSA Architectural News – selection below:

Life Lines, Khobar, Eastern Province of KSA
Design Architects: Veronika Supruniuk, Denis Shulginov
Alsahil Buildings in Khobar, Saudi Arabia: Life Lines
image courtesy of architects practice
Alsahil Buildings in Khobar, KSA

Dayira, Riyadh
Dayira Riyadh Province KSA
image courtesy of architects practice
Dayira, Riyadh Province

Jeddah Tower, Kingdom City, Jeddah
Architect: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture with SWA, landscape architecture
Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia Skyscraper
image courtesy of architects
Jeddah Tower Saudi Arabia Skyscraper

Saudi Arabia Architecture – further selection:

Alrriyadh Ritz Carlton Tower, Riyadh
Design: ECHO Architecture
Alrriyadh Ritz Carlton Tower Building

Arab Satellite Communications Organization headquarters
Arabsat headquarters

Breakwater Beacon, Thuwal Point, Jeddah
Urban Art Projects
Breakwater Beacon

Haramain High-speed Railway Stations
Foster + Partners / Buro Happold
Haramain High-speed Railway Stations

Foster + Partners architects

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