Rukn Al Aqeeq: a hotel concept for Saudi Arabia
Metal mesh and mixed-use applications combine in this Leed contender
Architect: Maan Alsalloum, Cowi
Client: Al Aqeeq Real Estate Development
The aim of the design is to produce a Leed certified mixed-use building, with a 21 storey hotel and a 13 storey office tower. The towers are linked by a single storey of boutique retail space on the podium and two levels of basement. The total built-up area will be approximately 50,000 m2, including offices, boutique retail area and the hotel facilities, such as a spa and health club, ballroom and restaurants.
The site is located at the corner of roundabout of King Faisal Bin Abd Al-Aziz T5 road and Prince Turkey T2-A road and is adjacent to the existing Movenpick Gulf Hotel.
The external tower facade will be entirely clad in stainless steel mesh, and pre-stressed within individual frames, which span vertically between horizontal trusses. Since the mesh is tapered outwards it creates a varied distance to the internal glass cladding, from 1.2 m to 3.5 m towards the top. The mesh is horizontally restrained, either directly by the structural slab floors, or by an arrangement of steel struts connected to the floors. The mesh will create a sense of transparency and depth to the building, at the same time maintaining the thermal qualities required to meet building envelope criteria as required by Leed.
The podium edge treatment will be a combination of off-white, exposed aggregate pre-cast panels. The facade treatment to the tower and the podium will be further developed during the detailed design stage to incorporate the public spaces and the landscape design.
The tower massing is derived from its elliptical plan, which reduces as it ascends to its apex. Both towers are separated from the fifth level, as each of the tower wings step down as it descends to the podium deck and merges at the fourth floor level.
The entrance drop-off is heightened by the grand canopy above, made of GRC curved panel moulded in an Arabic pattern, offering shade to this area and also enhancing the sense of arrival.
Upon entering the main lift lobby, which is on the central axis of the hotel tower, the visitor will see the hotel lounge, from where they can reach the ballroom lobby. The general hotel lobby space is decorated with a 6-7 meter high ceiling and skylights. The main lift lobby consist of 4 lifts, 3 will be used for all hotel guest and sky restaurant, and 1 will be dedicated access for VIP guests of the penthouse and royal suite.
There will be a total of 200 rooms, with those on the end of each floor having private balconies. The interior of the guest rooms will be developed once an interior designer is appointed by the client.
The retail drop off and entrance lobby is located at the eastern part of the podium, directly facing the main highway/roundabout. The main key component of the retail is the centrally located open space which can be dedicated for open retail area or café. The overall concept is heightened by double storey skylight, which will visually connect the ground floor retail area with the outdoor space at the podium roof above.