Headquarters
Business Park

Client name

Aldar Al Khasa

Project value

US$ 300,000,000

Completed

December 2014

The Skyscraper Center

The site for this 55 storey mixed use development is a deep rectangular plot with a shorter west frontage onto the Jeddah Corniche and immediate views out to the Red Sea. The brief and site parameters called for 75 000 sq meters of prestigious office space for sale served by generous foyers, shared conveniences and amenities, high speed vertical services and ample parking.

Poor ground conditions and a high water table, necessitated the parking be provided in a podium stretching the length of the site on which the tower could sit – the podium is seen as a horizontal element which could be used to connect the two extremes of the site – the east, a face to the city and the west, an embrace to the Red Sea. A smaller 12 storey tower accommodating an “entrance gateway” office space, is located on the east vehicular accessed end of the site.

This references the city and offers views up the tall tower in the west across the landscaped roof of the podium. The podium is a robust, solid form clad in local sandstone and roots the complex to the ground and its context. The tower rests delicately above on the podium on inwardly raked pilotis – the detail creates the necessary visual separation between the function and forms. A public open concourse takes the form of the landscaped roof terrace, flowing between pilotis and extending outward toward the east entrance tower.

This tower has been shaped through a process of tailoring the building form to the longitudinal site, stretched between city and sea intrinsically connecting the two and their respective vehicular arteries on either end. An economic rectangle form in plan marries horizontal and vertical forces tempered toward a directional emphasis, resulting in a specific and contextual gesture toward the Red Sea. Each decision regarding elevation treatment and facades details reinforces this directional emphasis.

The tapering tower suited the spatial requirement for more prestigious space the higher the location and a destination restaurant at the top of the tower; the form provides a specific and unique profile which becomes a form within the urban fabric as well as an urban image which articulates and distinguishes the development from others.

Low E glass used to shade the most exposed facades. Ceramic fired mushrabiya-motif fritted pattern fused to the glass surface accounts for 50% of the façade surface area – reflecting heat and light and allowing a diffused patterned light to filter into the interior and animate the space. The tower form is also broken by 6 double volumed, sheltered, landscaped gardens which shade more comfortable and marketable, cheaper office space. These two design principles contribute to the buildings intended “silver” LEED rating. Interiors are designed seamlessly with the architecture and landscaping to reflect simple sophisticated and elegant spaces.