01 June 2012 - 05:30 pm, Published by Dewan Architects + Engineers
Dewan Architects & Engineers, one of the region's leading architectural and engineering consulting firms, has been awarded the consultancy contract to design and supervise the construction of the Al-Abdulkarim Tower, the new headquarters of Al-Abdulkarim Holding (AKH), in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. Part of the 27 office floors will be assigned for AKH headquarters and the remaining office floors will be rented to outside companies. The 35-floor commercial tower is set to open in 2014 at a strategic location within the bustling city of Dammam in the Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia.
The total built-up area (BUA) of the project is 54,846 sq. metres. BUA of office floors range from 1,130 up to 1,344 sq. metres. Parking facilities in the basement and 7 podiums could accommodate up to 404 cars. The total height of the tower, from the ground up, is around 150 metres. Designed as an 'intelligent' building, the tower will be equipped with a state-of-the-art telecommunication system, a Closed-Circuit TV (CCTV) system, access control system, energy-saving system, computer-based Building Management System (BMS), a sophisticated Data Centre and an advanced audio-visual system for the conference rooms. The tower will also feature a backup standby generator and Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS).
According to Mohamed Al Assam, Founder and Chairman of Dewan, the Tower will feature a retail podium, wrapped around its main volume, as well as double-height clear glass cladding to demarcate the location of the common floors and clearly distinguish AHK's HQ offices from the remaining lower offices which are to be leased to other firms. The result is an aesthetically commanding tower characterized by layered juxtaposed volumes, which create an interesting composition of straight tilted and solid translucent lines and volumes. Additionally, the tower's façade and tilting volumes will allow for interesting undulations within the interior, creating distinctive and dynamic office spaces on every floor, which allows the building to cater to numerous companies with varying spatial needs. The final result is an office tower that's unique both inside and out and that will surely be a landmark in the Kingdom.
"The global construction industry, including the Middle East region, has become enormously competitive and only the most entrepreneurial and creative of firms will be able to maintain their client-base and grow their business. Dewan prides itself on its innovation in design, its focus on quality of its work, and its nurturing of its creative staff, the balanced formula that continues to give the firm an edge in the market and develop its business and practice in the region," said Mr. Al Assam.
Mr. Al Assam also commented that the project commenced with careful site and contextual analysis, ensuring that easy access from the main roads was possible, in addition to smooth vehicular and pedestrian circulation within the plots. The resulting design of the 35-storey grade-A office tower, with its 7-storey parking and retail podium, as well as a vast underground parking is expected to represent the client's group status as a world-class organisation.
Mr. Al Assam stated: "At Dewan, we adapt to the local environment and requirements. The Al-Abdulkarim Tower is the latest of a number of Dewan projects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We are proud to be adding to the architectural progress in the Kingdom and bring with us our experience in developing similar projects, the proof of which lies in our proven record of accomplishment spanning 28 years of success in the industry."
The firm was recently ranked the 48th largest architectural firm globally, and the 3rd largest in the region, according to prestigious industry publication Building Design Magazine in its January 2012 issue, which featured the magazine's annual 'World Architecture Top 100' – a unique, definitive listing of the world's largest architecture practices.