The latest futuristic design coming out of Saudi Arabia is a 19 sq km structure to be based in Riyadh named The Mukaab.
In recent months, Saudi Arabia’s abundance of oil money has sparked the design of some absolutely insane architectural projects.
First was The Line, put forward by the design company Neom. The one-trillion-dollar project will essentially be its own massive city in the middle of a desert once it’s finished. We featured it recently at Thred, so click here to check it out.
This week, the local government announced plans for another gargantuan structure to be placed in the middle of its capital city – a 400-metre-high cube-shaped skyscraper for downtown Riyadh.
Named The Mukaab, the gigantic cube has been described as the future ‘face of the city’. Once completed, will be a 19-square-kilometre development that towers over the rest of the neighbourhood.
At present, the plan is to fill the cube with 100,000 residential units as well as 9,000 hotel rooms. But in a similar way to The Line, The Mukaab will stand as far more than just a residential space.
The building, whose size will amount to 20 times the volume of New York City’s Empire State Building, will be a one-stop location for shoppers and business owners, with more than 980,000 square metres of retail shops and 1.4 million square metres of office space.
Not to mention, those looking to immerse themselves in a little art and culture will be completely spoiled for choice.
Current plans are set to include over 80 entertainment and culture venues, such as multipurpose theatres for operas and film screenings, a concert hall, and museums.
The Mukaab’s core structure will also be an atrium, allowing for tons of natural light and foliage to thrive inside. The brief promises an immersive ‘gateway into another world’ that is completely powered by the latest digital, virtual, and holographic technology.
There’ll be learning opportunities too, with plans to implement a campus for a technology and design university.
Unlike The Line, which received criticism for displacing native people living along the coastline of its desert location, the Mukaab is likely to get an easy green light. It will be one of the first buildings in a project aimed at transforming Riyadh into a futuristic city centre.
Led by New Murabba Development Company under the Public Investment Fund, the structure is set to be completed by 2030. The organisation is chaired by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and is one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds.
That Saudi Arabia keeps announcing such intricate designs is a reflection of how lucrative the oil industry has been for this region.
But it also signals the nation’s mission to rebrand as a hotspot for tourism and leisure – two economies that will keep it afloat as the world turns away from fossil fuels.
I’m Jessica (She/Her). Originally from Bermuda, I moved to London to get a Master’s degree in Media & Communications and now write for Thred to spread the word about positive social change, specifically ocean health and marine conservation. You can also find me dipping my toes into other subjects like pop culture, health, wellness, style, and beauty. Follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn and drop me some ideas/feedback via email.
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