The 60 meters high ‘Breakwater Beacon’ tower was designed by Daniel Tobin, Matthew Tobin and Jamie Perrow, of Urban Art Projects (UAP) design studio, in collaboration with architecture office Bureau^Proberts. The tower is intended to be a landmark of the new King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) master plan.
Its elliptical-spire geometry works as a lighthouse watching over the Jeddah’s Safaa Harbor, on the Red Sea coast. The organic hexagonal pattern reminds both of the arabesques and of the marine gulf life. Inspired by traditional Arabic architecture, it also functions as a cooling tower encompassing a public amphitheater and a reflection pond at its base.
The see-through structure seems light. However, its 187 individually cast hexagonal blocks weigh up to 18 tons each. For the construction process, the tower was divided into 3 sections measuring from 30/25 meters at the base, to 3.0/2.5 meters at the top – world’s largest cranes were used to put them in place.
Deeply rooted in the local building tradition and cultural heritage, this project is a true landmark not just for KAUST, but for Jeddah and Saudi Arabia as well.
By: Ana Cosma