In early 2011, when King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia hired the architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill 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 — a quarter of the usual time. Undaunted, the firm returned with a plan for a free-form “megaroof” consisting of 165 massive steel triangles joined at 98 nodes. The design is so impressive, the American Society of Landscape Architects gave it an award before it was even built. But the roof’s mega-ness was a nightmare for engineers, who had to find a way to make it practical to build and safe to occupy.
SOM in the Press
This Might Be the Most Complex Roof Ever Made