A symbol of modern Riyadh since it was completed in 2002, the Kingdom Centre contains a mixed-use program that has made it one of the most active and thriving places in the city. Its iconic 300-meter-tall tower houses offices, a five-star hotel, luxury apartments and condominiums, culminating in an inverted catenary arch spanned by a glass skybridge observatory.
At the tower’s base, two symmetrical wings embrace the city toward the east and west, with landscaped public gardens filling out the remainder of the block. The west wing features a 4,400-square-meter, two-story venue that accommodates up to 1,200 people for events and also contains private meeting rooms, royal suites, and specialty restaurants. The east wing houses the award-winning Al-Mamlaka mall, a 56,000-square-meter shopping experience with 161 stores on three spacious levels. The mall includes international departments stores like Debenhams and Saks Fifth Avenue, as well as luxury retailers including Louis Vuitton and Gucci.
Structurally, the building consists of two systems: for the first 180 meters, reinforced concrete columns and beams connected to a reinforced concrete core carry the load down to the four-meter-thick, 3,100-square-meter raft foundation. The building‘s remaining height is supported by a more versatile steel structure, due to the complex shape created by the inverted arched opening at the top. On the exterior, the Kingdom Centre is wrapped in a sophisticated glass curtain wall that is engineered with a special heat-resistant coating to withstand the typically strong sunlight of the region. Unoccupied floors surrounding the inverted arch opening are clad in a matching metal panel to create a seamless architectural form.