Do you love to take pictures of spectacular sights and high-rise buildings? As far as I’m concerned, one of the most iconic infrastructures in Saudi Arabia is the Kingdom Centre, which is located in the heart of Riyadh. A mesmerizing sight to behold, it is a lofty and remarkable edifice that ranks as the third tallest skyscraper with a hole in the world. With an impressive height of 992 feet, it is also the country’s third tallest building.
Kingdom Centre Tower in Saudi
Photo by Wajahat Mahmood
Kingdom Center Skyscraper in Riyadh
This towering skyscraper in Riyadh was designed by the world famous architect Richard Tenguerian, who also designed New York’s Yankee Stadium and Singapore’s The Sail at Marina Bay. The astonishing design springs from the intent of the owner, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal (the richest man in Saudi Arabia), who envisioned creating an elegant iconic infrastructure with a simple and structurally expressive form. The skyscraper’s symmetry is paralleled to the traditions of Islamic art, which is known for its range of geometric forms.
The Parts of the Centre
The Kingdom Centre is made up of different parts with a unique design chosen to reflect the financial power of the city. It has a simple yet intricate elliptical tower topped with a curved opening where a 200-foot-long observatory bridge spans an inverted parabolic arch.
There are four entrances of the centre separating the major uses inside. The first 13 floors starting from the bottom is used mainly as commercial office spaces. The building’s 14th floor, meanwhile, is used as a business center.
It also has a five-story atrium lobby that definitely looks chic and posh. The next 10 floors above the office are where the lavish rooms of the Four Seasons Hotel are placed. The next 5 levels are allocated for luxury apartments and condominiums. The headquarters of the Kingdom Holding Company is nestled on the 30th floor, just below the stunning parabolic arch. Retail malls and a wedding conference facility are anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue on the two side wings.
Thanks to the magnificence of this structure, the Kingdom Centre has received a ton of prestigious awards, such as the ‘Skyscraper of the Year’ Award from skyscraper.com in 2003. Richard Tenguerian also received an Honor Award for Architecture by the American Institute of Architects in 2005 for his brilliant architectural skills.
A Place in Riyadh You Shouldn’t Miss
If you are visiting Riyadh for the first time, then a visit in Kingdom Centre should be part of your itinerary. Here, you get to roam around the elegant and spacious shopping centre, as well as dine in one of city’s high-end restaurants. Also, a visit in this site gives you a chance to go all the way up to the building’s sky bridge, and be amazed of the beauty of the city, especially at night when the beautiful city lights will flash in front of you.