When King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia hired SOM to design the flagship building for his new city-size financial center, he had two tiny requests: He wanted a memorable, iconic design, and he needed it ready for construction in four months.
Located in the under-development King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh, this futuristic complex by SOM provides a multipurpose event hall with operable walls, a 600-seat auditorium with full lecture and cinema support, and a ‘digital forum’ approach that allows all venues to be internally and externally networked.
SOM Director Scott Duncan will participate in a panel that will address the pace of development in the Middle East. Duncan will discuss the King Abdullah Financial District Conference Center, a 16,000-square-meter building with a project schedule of only 23 months.
The Middle East is a region of rapid globalization with man-made islands and supertall towers. Tradition and change are creating great challenges for today's architects and engineers.