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Architect’s Newspaper Explores Buildings Transforming the Future of Saudi Arabia

PIF Tower Skyline

Four HOK-designed projects are highlighted in this article describing how new developments are supporting the Saudi Vision 2030 plan and the country’s efforts to establish new economic, cultural and research districts.

Excerpted from Architect’s Newspaper:

At the center of the citadel will be HOK’s PIF Tower (formerly known as CMA Tower and pictured above). Developed with Saudi architects Omrania, the 76-story office building will feature triangulated exterior walls wrapped in an outward layer of horizontal fins and perforated metal panels.

Describing the project, Roger Soto, design principal at HOK, said, “We carefully designed the building to be a part of [its] place.”

Another new economic zone is the King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) outside of Jeddah on the Red Sea coast. The nearby King Abdullah University of Science & Technology, also by HOK, opened in 2009 as the kingdom’s first co-ed university (below).

Smaller satellite cities across the country, anchored by cultural, academic, or economic institutions—like ZHA’s King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) in Riyadh—are also in development. The energy- and technology-focused think tank headquarters and cultural center is envisaged as a cluster of courtyard pods. The building is joined nearby by the KAPSARC Community, a new 200-home sustainable neighborhood by HOK (below). The 500-acre development features umbrella-shaded community spaces, a spiritual district, and neat rows of geometric, off-white villas.

HOK is also at work on a similar arts-focused community located beside Snøhetta’s King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture (KACWC) in Dhahran.

In creating a complementary residential component to KACWC, senior design principal Roger Schwabacher and his team at HOK aimed to “create a place to celebrate traditional Saudi craft that also doubles as a next-generation incubator space” for Saudi creatives, Schwabacher said.

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