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Top Japanese architect to showcase landmark projects at Cityscape Global in Riyadh

Written by:
James Lakie
Tadawul Tower

Nikken Sekkei to highlight design credentials with an array of Middle East projects, including Tadawul Tower and One Za’abeel.

Dubai-based CEO to deliver presentation about transit-oriented development to top regional real estate industry professionals at leading Saudi real estate event.

Leading Japanese architectural, engineering, and urban design firm Nikken Sekkei, one of the world’s largest practices, is showcasing some of its innovative projects at Cityscape Global, which takes place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from 10-13 September 2023.

Cityscape Global is the largest real estate event in the Middle East, providing us with an ideal platform to consolidate our market presence, meet with new and existing partners and investors and broaden still further awareness of our brand values and our unique market proposition,” said Fadi Jabri, executive officer of Nikken Sekkei and CEO of Nikken Sekkei Dubai.

Among the projects on show will be Tadawul Tower, the headquarters of the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul), located in Riyadh’s King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD), a thriving new urban centre of development. To ensure the building reflects global competitiveness, it required timeless elegance, sustainability in construction, and sophisticated office functionality.

Envisioning the building as a guiding beacon of the Middle Eastern economy, Nikken developed an image of a shaft of light that appears to emanate from the earth. The concept was named “paving the way for a new era.” The shape of the building is distinctive, with a pentagonal top and a highly efficient center-core layout below.

“We delivered consistency in design, structure, and facilities, and despite the harsh climate, Nikken obtained LEED Gold certification, demonstrating a high degree of sustainability and efficiency,” said Jabri.

Tadawul Tower

Tadawul Tower

Another landmark project being exhibited is One Za’abeel, for which Nikken was appointed as lead consultant in charge of design and supervision. Recognised as the new gateway to central Dubai, with offices, a hotel, residences, and commercial facilities, the vertical urban resort comprises two towers, separated by a highway and connected by a horizontal volume (the Link) affixed at a height of 100 meters above ground. A rooftop garden in the podium area and an infinity pool on the roof of the Link are among its many special features. 

Other award-winning projects include the JR Kumamoto Railway Station Building, a mixed-use complex designed around the concept of biophilic design, which aims to improve human productivity and happiness by incorporating nature into spatial design.

The Shanghai West Bund International AI Tower & Plaza - a former airfield in the West Bund district of Shanghai that was redeveloped into a suburban complex including two skyscrapers, a high-end office space, an arts centre, and a luxury hotel.

The Burj Ramla, the first luxury residential project designed by Nikken, was completed in Saudi Arabia in 2023. BIM software and automated 3D CAD technology were utilised to create the deeply articulated facade of staggered balconies, offering a distinct identity while minimising the use of materials to maximise shade and maintain comfort.

Nikken has built an enviable reputation, providing holistic and innovative sustainable designs for mixed-use, urban planning, hospitality, and high-end residential markets throughout the Middle East region for over 30 years. Nikken’s first project in the region was designing the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry building in 1991, which at that time was one of the tallest buildings in the Emirate.

“Our creative strategy is influenced by Japanese aesthetics - we believe in the importance of nature and cultural values. However, we are acutely aware of the important role that sustainable technology plays in delivering progressive design,” said Jabri.

Nikken will be joined on the exhibition floor by Australian architectural design firm Buchan, with which Nikken has had a business alliance spanning almost eight years, to showcase their projects, especially in the retail and hospitality sectors. The successful partnership has enabled both companies to leverage each other's design expertise and experience, particularly in mixed-use developments.

With Nikken being an expert in Transit Oriented Development (TOD), Jabri will also deliver a presentation on Cityscape Global's design and architecture stage, entitled “Transit Integration: Lessons from Tokyo”.

“With Saudi Arabia’s growing population, efficient TOD will be essential to Saudi urban planning and development in the near future,” said Jabri.

Nikken Sekkei can be found at Cityscape Global, Riyadh Exhibition & Convention Centre, Malham Booth H2.U38

About Nikken Sekkei

Nikken Sekkei is a collective of architects, designers, and experts across multiple disciplines. With 120 years of experience in creating timeless elegance and enduring value, the company proposes context-customised solutions and visionary designs to contribute to a better urban environment supporting the well-being of people. Nikken Sekkei currently employs over 2,900 professional staff globally and has 14 offices in strategic locations outside Japan. The company's portfolio covers a broad range of services, including masterplans, mixed-use developments, offices, commercial facilities, residential complexes, hotels, transportation (airports and railway stations), education, culture, R&D, manufacturing, logistics, healthcare, and welfare facilities.

By Naser Nader Ibrahim

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