The Beacon is the focal point of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. The tower takes an organic form inspired by nature resembling coral forms at the base and rising to a more regular structure in the spire 60m above the ground.

Project Value:
Confidential
Year Completed:
2009
Building Metrics:
Height: 60 m | Foorprint: : ~ 500 m²
Sectors:
Public Facilities,Art in Architecture, Landmark, Skyscraper

Client:
Urban Art Projects
Architect:
Fairweather Proberts,
Liam Proberts,
Alex Eckersley
Robert Bird Group Services:
Detailed Structural Design
Construction Methodology

Key technical challenges

The tower is divided into three sections, tapering from a base of approximately 30m x 25m to 3.0m x 2.5m at the top. It comprises of 187 individually cast hexagonal blocks, weighing up to 18 tonnes each. The individual internal hexagons were pre-cast off-site then lifted into place on site using a variety of cranes including one of the largest in the world, a 550 tonne mobile crane.

Key technical challenges

The outer skin of the lower spire was completed by fixing the external pre-cast hexagonal elements, which slotted on to the corresponding internal hexagons to seamlessly conceal the in-situ pour. The dramatic upper spire of the tower is made solely from these pre-cast blocks. All construction of the pre-cast elements was completed within 50kms of the site ensuring the project was consistent with the studio’s sustainable design approach. Materials were selected for their durability and longevity, with a predicted life span of 100 years. For a high quality finish and appearance a slightly off white concrete was chosen for all precast elements.

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