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AMAALA Yacht Club

AMAALA Yacht Club is the centerpiece development and an iconic structure within the Triple Bay Marina of the AMAALA Development in Saudi Arabia. The building takes on a bespoke free-flowing form which provides many structural challenges, including the following:

  • Eccentric Core Locations subject to seismic forces in addition to permanent thrust forces from the inclined columns.
  • Large Column-Free Internal Spaces with spans reaching upwards of 20 meters.
  • Complex Building Geometry such that the floor edges and glazing line are not aligned from level-to-level which creates a plan view twisting effect to the building.
  • This results in inclined columns and an array of column transfers from floor-to-floor.
  • Large Cantilevered Terraces and Promenade Structure which are clad with a rendered finish. This presents challenges with respect to limiting incremental deflections and differential deflections across the rendered façade as well as the careful planning of any façade joints.
  • Long-Spanning Arch System which supports the entire building zone above including the rooftop pool. The geometry of the arch is dictated by the architectural form of the building and therefore a bespoke framing system was required.
  • Proximity of the Building and Substructure to the Adjacent Marina Quay Wall.

Robert Bird Group worked alongside renowned Architects, HKS in the concept design Phase of the development to provide specialist structural design leadership in the early phase of the project. Cross-consultant coordination was carried out digitally and RBG utilised interoperable engineering software to ensure the concept structural design was in-sync with the changes in building geometry across the concept phase.

RBG placed a heavy emphasis on the complex areas of the building, namely the Central Zone Arch System, the large cantilevered terraces and promenade structure and the multi-level transfers of splayed columns which included the resolution of strut and tie forces through the building. RBG also ensured the substructure and foundations were developed to the point of allowing coordination and clash detection with the marina quay wall designers.


  • Robert Bird Group attempted to minimise the use of concrete for longer spanning floors by adopting a composite steel framing solution. Care will be taken in the next phase about sourcing of the structural steel and whether a local manufacturer can reproduce steel from recycled scrap using an Electric Arc Furnace.
  • Simple Connections have been adopted across the project in order to facilitate disassembly and re-use of the steel structure in the future.
  • For concrete elements, RBG have prompted a discussion on a green mix which will require careful selection of concrete constituents in the next phase of design. In order to reduce the reliance on Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC), RBG have recommended that a higher content of GGBS and Fly Ash be considered in order to halve the carbon emissions normally associated with higher cement mixes.
  • RBG have presented opportunities to pre-assemble large areas of the building in order to minimise temporary works, wastage and programme time.

Value Add

Robert Bird Group were able to add the following value to the Project:

  • Bringing the complexities of the structure to the forefront of the discussion with the Client and Architect in order to integrate the structural solutions from the earliest phase of the design.
  • Instant coordination loop with the Architect through digital means which was even more pronounced given the Concept Phase was carried out entirely remotely during the Covid Pandemic period. RBG’s ingrained focus on Digital Design ensured seamless coordination throughout the design phase.
  • Highlighting constructability risks and opportunities from the earliest phase of the design in order to ensure such a bespoke building form remains realistic and achievable. This includes commentary on building elements that could be pre-fabricated and pre-assembled to provide better programme certainty.
  • Through digital means, providing quicker design solutions for more areas of the building than is normally expected of a Concept Design. This allowed better cost certainty for the structural frame.
  • Highlighting any interface risks with adjacent assets including the Marina Quay Wall and the neighboring plot. Given that all these assets were part of the same overarching masterplan, RBG provided guidance with respect to temporary and permanent works solutions that achieved best for overall masterplan results, rather than best for an individual plot.

Project Metrics

Project Value:

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Year Completed:

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Project Metrics:

Approx. 8,000 sqm GE Basement, Ground + 4 levels & roof

Environmental Performance:

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Civic, Cultural & Public Assembly

RBG Client:


End Client:



HKS Architects

Main Contractor:

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RBG Services:

Structural Engineering