New plans for Saudi mixed-use scheme

Emily
Monday 05 Dec 2011

Designs for a new £20m development on the east coast of Saudi Arabia revealed

Designed by Capita Symonds on behalf of a private client, this development comprises six floors of circa 8,000 sq ft open plan office space, retail units on the ground floor, and a new gymnasium and spa facility.

The design features a triple skinned facade with chevrons of stainless steel set apart as a grid by a thousand individually LED-lit faceted acrylic crystals - each held in place by a plated gold finial - which act as low angle and high angle solar control and refer back to the traditional ‘Mashrabiya' of Islamic and Middle Eastern architecture.

The roof is formed as a carefully balanced wing with tapering edges to all sides and has a gold leaf soffit to reflect light and activity on the ‘executive' top floor, which in turn features a carefully designed prayer space as well as boardrooms and private offices.

Chris Boyce of Capita Symonds said: "The project explores the way a facade can alter the internal environment by providing shade, and at the same time can deliver very different visual impact at differing times of the day and night. The crystals on the facade and gold leaf underside to the roof are a nod to the client's connections to the precious stones and gold trade."

Work is expected to start on site in Spring with the project due for completion in 2013. Capita Symonds has quickly established itself as one of the leading multidisciplinary consultancies in the Middle East, operating in the building design, civil engineering, environment, management and transport sectors.

Although the company has been working on various projects across the region for a number of years, it was the opening of its first Middle East office in Abu Dhabi - the capital of the United Arab Emirates - in 2009 that really signalled a period of rapid growth.

Since then this expanding business has also formed a joint venture company - Capita Symonds Saudi Arabia Ltd - with Ghassan Al-Nemer Holding Group. The joint venture will deliver project management and design services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - the world's fastest growing large country in terms of population over the past ten years - where current infrastructure and public sector building programmes are valued at some $35bn.

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