National Commercial Bank

Project Facts
  • Completion Year 1983
  • Size Site Area: 1.20 hectares Building Height: 126 meters Number of Stories: 27 Building Gross Area: 57,400 square meters
  • Awards
    1985, Distinguished Architecture Award, AIA – New York City Chapter 1987, National Honor Award for Architecture, American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • Collaborators
    Hershfield & Associates Hubert Wilke J Hess Wilbur Smith & Associates Cerami & Associates
Project Facts
  • Completion Year 1983
  • Size Site Area: 1.20 hectares Building Height: 126 meters Number of Stories: 27 Building Gross Area: 57,400 square meters
  • Awards
    1985, Distinguished Architecture Award, AIA – New York City Chapter 1987, National Honor Award for Architecture, American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • Collaborators
    Hershfield & Associates Hubert Wilke J Hess Wilbur Smith & Associates Cerami & Associates

The desire to take advantage of the spectacular views of Jeddah and the Red Sea led to the design of this distinctive high-rise structure for the National Commercial Bank headquarters. Set in a 1.2-hectare plaza on the edge of the sea, the 27-story triangular bank is flanked by a helical parking garage. Instead of individual windows in the tower’s travertine enclosure, colossal openings allow light into the interior across three landscaped courtyards.

Each of the V-shaped floors are shielded from direct sun and wind. A central wall that extends from the skylight of the first floor up through the roof allows accumulated heat to rise out of the building. In developing this form, SOM has incorporated two important features found in traditional Islamic architecture: natural ventilation and inward orientation.

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