Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

Sustainable Multi-use Tower
Ayman Ahmed Othman
Site: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
King Saud University
Abdel Rahman Elbakheit
2011 Bioclimatic Skyscraper

This project is a bioclimatic mixed-use tall building. The architectural concept is centered on biomimicry in the form of a leaf, maximizing the environmental benefits of natural lighting from the north and south facades, while avoiding the direct sun rays from the east and west facades by minimizing openings. The form has floor plates that are greater in the area towards the middle of the towers, diminish in size at the footing, and further diminish as they taper to the top of the buildings.

The structure of the building reinforces the biomimetic form of the leaf. The towers stands as twin towers, each having its own core and shell structure, separated by means of a void (which stands for the leaf stem) for wind and light provision. The elevations of the towers are miniaturized by grouping 12 plates in a vertical village, totalling 5 villages. Each village is serviced and supported by means of service floors at top and bottom of each of them. Service floors link the twin towers structurally as well as the services within them. The service floors are three times the normal floor height. North and south facades are defined by curved edge columns forming the outer edge of the leaf shape. This form makes it easier for wind striking these facades to deflect to the top of the towers where they pass through five turbines located at highest point of the twin towers.

The taller of the twin towers houses a 5-star hotel and the second is used as offices. A five story high podium is located at the base of the towers, containing hotel reception, retail areas, and restaurants. Offices and a main lounge are located towards the northern side of the site.