King Abdullah Financial District - The Gem Building in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Courtesy Henning Larsen Architects.

King Abdullah Financial District – The Gem Building



Designed to be the new center for Middle East trade and finance, the King Abdullah Financial District is a 1.6 million-square-meter mixed-use development consisting of 30 plots connected by a network of skywalks and green recreational spaces. Our work with Henning Larsen Architects includes the Crystal Towers, the Gem Buildings and Villas in the Sky, for which we are providing structural and building skin engineering services.

Parcel 2.10, a mixed-use development known as the Gem Building, consists of two mid-rise reinforced concrete towers comprising residential units and offices that link to two gem-shaped structures below, which include a two-story steel-framed structure and a concrete shell forming a single crystalline roof over a double height retail space at the ground level.

The project features a multi-skin system composed of an internal glass and aluminum façade for weatherproofing and a stainless steel tensioned mesh screen covering an external walkway for shading and privacy.

Our use of BIM on this project affords several benefits including speedier modeling of complex building geometries; easier coordination with design team members, leading the faster clash detection and resolution; and easy generation of 3D visualization of the structure for more effective client presentations. Other benefits of BIM consist of higher quality shop drawings, interoperability of design platforms and greater design flexibility.

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Our façade engineering teams advise clients on the best way to develop both conventional and innovative façade systems, applying our knowledge of structures, glazing technology, mechanical shade systems and thermal behavior. We provide design, detailing and engineering support for enclosures of any shape or size, from minimalist to high-tech. We also provide expertise in safety and security glazing, along with glass frits and reflective coatings.