SOM

SOM

Muqarnas Tower

Muqarnas Tower will be located in the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD), a new development in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Totaling more than three million square meters, the district will include commercial, residential, retail, institutional, and cultural components. The design of this 70,000-square-meter office tower honors the parameters established by the master plan to create a distinct statement on the KAFD skyline.

The building's facade was inspired by a traditional “muqarnas” vaulting technique that results in multiple corner offices while providing shade. The unique floor plate shape and facade geometry will yield up to 11 corner offices per floor, producing an exclusive office environment.

The tower's massing and skin concepts are driven by solar performance. The linear plan is oriented on the east-west axis to minimize exposure to low-angle sun. The composition of panels on the south facade cuts solar exposure and changes appearance as the sun moves through the sky. By contrast, the north side is transparent to take advantage of better solar orientation and preferred views. Horizontal fins of varying depths on the north facade are calibrated based on the amount of sunlight hitting the surface. As a result, the faces that require more shading have greater fin depths, reducing glare and cooling loads.

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