KAFD World Trade Center

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Height: Architectural 304 m / 997 ft
Height: To Tip 304 m / 997 ft
Height: Observatory 300 m / 984 ft
Floors Above Ground 67
Tower GFA 137,483 m² / 1,479,855 ft²

Companies Involved

Owner Riyadh Investment Company
Design Gensler
Structural Engineer
Design BuroHappold Engineering
MEP Engineer
Design BuroHappold Engineering
Project Manager BuroHappold Engineering
Main Contractor Saudi Bin Laden Group
Other Consultant
• Civil BuroHappold Engineering
Façade BuroHappold Engineering; Permasteelisa Group
• Façade Maintenance Access Advisors Ltd.
• Fire BuroHappold Engineering
• Geotechnical BuroHappold Engineering
• LEED BuroHappold Engineering
• Lighting Lichtvision; BuroHappold Engineering
• Security BuroHappold Engineering
• Sustainability BuroHappold Engineering
Material Supplier
• Cladding BFG International
• Elevator Otis Elevator Company
• Formwork Doka GmbH

About KAFD World Trade Center

The result of an international design competition, KAFD World Trade Center is the second tallest building within the massive King Abdullah Financial District, Riyadh's newest central business district built from scratch in one construction cycle. The new district needed a central focal point for the emerging skyline and this was the driving initiative behind establishing a pair of supertall buildings in center of the new development. Unlike typical supertall office towers which are often anchored by large corporate users taking on large blocks of interior space, the KAFD World Trade Center was designed with small and medium size companies in mind, businesses which need less space but still desire a prestigious address and location.

The exterior of the building was envisioned as a solid rock split in two. The split is envisioned as a wadi, a usually dry valley or gorge in the desert which becomes a river in periods of rainfall. This wadi concept is turned vertical through the building, forming an interior atrium around which offices spaces are arranged and accessed without the use of typical long hallways.

The exterior is clad in a series of composite panels which had to be designed to account for the harsh conditions of the Arabian climate, including extreme temperature differentials between night and day, as well as high winds and blowing sands. These panels cover more than 40,000 square meters of the building’s total exterior. The monolithic form of the tower is broken by a pattern of large holes between the panels giving way to windows as well as the implied split in the center which is then clad with a glass curtain wall.

The KAFD World Trade Center contains a public observatory and stands as highly accessible centerpiece of the new business district containing over 3 million square meters of occupiable space and operating as a self contained city.

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