Al Faisaliyah Center

Al Faisaliah Complex
Al Faisaliyah Center Riyadh.jpg
Al Faisaliyah Center, 2021
Al Faisaliyah Center is located in Saudi Arabia
Al Faisaliyah Center
Location within Saudi Arabia
Record height
Tallest in Saudi Arabia from 2000 to 2002[I]
Preceded byRiyadh TV Tower
Surpassed byKingdom Center
General information
TypeMulti-purpose residential and commercial complex
LocationRiyadh, Saudi Arabia
Coordinates24°41′25″N 46°41′07″E / 24.69028°N 46.68528°E / 24.69028; 46.68528Coordinates: 24°41′25″N 46°41′07″E / 24.69028°N 46.68528°E / 24.69028; 46.68528
Construction started1997
Completed14 May 2000
Cost$800 million USD
Roof267 m (876 ft)[1]
Top floor195.0 m (640 ft)
Technical details
Floor count44 (30 above ground)
Design and construction
Architect(s)Foster & Partners
Main contractorSaudi Binladin Group

The Al Faisaliyah Tower (or Al Faisaliah Tower, Arabic: برج الفيصلية) is a commercial skyscraper and mixed-use complex located in the al-Olaya district of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The 267-metre-high office tower, the centerpiece of the Foster + Partners development, it is notable for having been the first skyscraper built in Saudi Arabia,[2] and for the monumental stained glass wall of its lobby, designed by architectural artist Brian Clarke in collaboration with Norman Foster.[3] Presently the seventh tallest building in Saudi Arabia after the Kingdom Centre, Burj Rafal and Abraj Al Bait,[4] the Center presently ranks as the 325th tallest building in the world.[5]

History and structure

First appointed to the architectural practice Foster + Partners in 1994, the complex was commissioned by Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal,[3] with construction begun in 1997. The complex is made up of the central office tower, a five-star hotel, a three-storey retail mall, and a banqueting and conference hall. The skyscraper comprises 30 floors of office space, above which, at 200 metres above ground level, an observation deck provides a panoramic view of Riyadh. The 240,000-square-metre Centre was completed in May 2000, with the skyscraper opened to the public in the same month.[6] The skyscraper, also called the Star Dome, contains one of Saudi Arabia's premier restaurants, "The Globe", located in the sphere above the observation deck, possessing 360 degree views of the city.

Stained glass

In 1999, the artist Brian Clarke, who had formerly collaborated with Norman Foster on architectural art proposals for Stansted and Chep Lap Kok airports, was commissioned to design a 22,000 sq. ft. wall of glass for the modular atrial space connecting the complex's hotel, north of the tower's base, and the tower's residential and retail developments.[7] Clarke's initial designs for the project, produced in 1994 and incorporating traditionally-leaded stained glass and an interrelated glass mosaic floor for what was then known as 'The Link Building', developed in tandem with the architect's resolution of the complex,[8] and were resolved as an integral, five-storey-high glass art 'skin', considered a landmark development in the history of stained glass.[9][10]

Similar towers

Other towers


  1. ^ SkyscraperPage - Al Faisaliah Center, source: Foster & Partners
  2. ^ David, Jenkins; Baker, Phillipa (2001). Foster: Catalogue 2001. London/Munich: Foster and Partners/Prestel Verlag. pp. 148–149. ISBN 3-7913-2401-2.
  3. ^ a b "Al Faisaliah Centre". Foster + Partners. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  4. ^ "Al Faisaliyah Center in Saudi Arabia". My Guide Saudi Arabia. Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  5. ^ "Al Faisaliah Center - The Skyscraper Center". Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  6. ^ "الأمير سلطان يفتتح برج الفيصلية ويسلم جائزة الملك فيصل الرياض ترسخ مكانتها عاصمة للثقافة العربية". Alhayat (in Arabic). Archived from the original on 2017-11-07. Retrieved 2017-11-05.
  7. ^ Binder, George (2006). Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (ed.). 101 of the World's Tallest Buildings. The Images Publishing Group. pp. 124–125. ISBN 9781864701739.
  8. ^ "Al Faisaliyah Center". Brian Clarke Studio. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  9. ^ Faghihi, Parinaz (January 2017). "Glass art and the public realm". The impact of the evolution of modern technology on public glass art (Thesis). Conference: Public Art Colloquium in the Era of Digital Creativity. University of Lisbon: Research Unit “Glass and Ceramic for the Arts”, Faculty of Fine Arts. Retrieved 16 March 2022.
  10. ^ Harrison, Martin; Clarke, Brian (2002). Brian Clarke: Transillumination. New York: Tony Shafrazi Gallery. ISBN 978-1-891475-22-1.

External links

  • Al-Faisaliah Center at ArchNet
Preceded by
Tallest building in Saudi Arabia
2000 – 2002
Succeeded by

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