Gem Building

Gem Building

Henning Larsen
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Project Year


Gem Building

Henning Larsen as Architects

The Gem Building is a unique small-scale landmark surrounded by large buildings in King Abdullah Financial District. The size of the building is adapted to human scale and its crystalline form and faceted facades enhance its quality as a shining beacon.

The Gem has a mixed-use programme: three separate buildings include a residential block, an office block and a multi-purpose podium with a terrace overlooking the garden - this is linked to the green pedestrian thoroughfare of the district.

The cluster of gems creates spaces for fluid, flexible circulation around and through the buildings. As a small-scale icon, the form and intimate scale of the building provide a unique destination and meeting place; the facades enhance the expression of the building and creates shaded retreats from the desert sun.

Wrapping the faceted exterior, a high quality metal mesh fabric provides solar protection and weather-resistance to local sandstorms. In addition, the geometry and siting of the building creates shade between the volumes. Combined with sitewide strategies for water-efficiency and reclamation, the energy efficient technologies support several sustainable initiatives. The building is designed to achieve LEED Certification upon completion.

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