For this design project, Lee Harris Pomeroy Architects in conjunction with Consultancy Group of Riyadh, introduced three design schemes for a commercial and residential center to be built in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The facility is intended to serve as a unique landmark constructed with modern technology and inspired by a distinct architectural design that finds its roots in Islamic values and local tradition. The three schemes use the same basic components within the overall massing. This allows for the evaluation of the schemes based upon their individual design and aesthetic merits since function and location remain relatively constant. The common thread that links the three design schemes are efficient planning of interior space for work as well as leisure environments, flexibility and modular planning that anticipates change, a clear circulation pattern, privacy and security and minimal maintenance through choice of materials, design and detailing. The design concept of each scheme is inviting and distinct.
The first scheme uses the rectangular shape of the site for the organization of its plan. The simplicity of the plan allows the core elements to be placed in a linear fashion along the interior of the site. At the top, the core is extended vertically, becoming the support for a graceful, bow-like form that arches out over the tower floors below.
The second scheme uses a more singular core element to organize its plan. This core comprises all circulation and transportation elements in one zone that rises at the perimeter. Here, style and function are combined to create the enclosure of the penthouse. The penthouse rises as a solid glass cube, using the roof area as a deck for unobstructed views all around.
The third scheme uses a diagonal orientation to organize the structure, core elements and striking tower image. The two core elements create the strength of the structural system and rise vertically as symmetrical pinnacles that form the supports for the graceful, arcing glass structure over the penthouse. The penthouse is enclosed by a graceful, arcing glass spaceframe.
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