King Abdullah, ruler of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had only two things he wanted in his country’s main building – a design that will last the test of time and for it to be finished in four months.
With those conditions, Abdullah obtained the services of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, an architecture firm based in Chicago to design his building. As such, they returned to Saudi Arabia with a plan to construct a so-called megaroof for the king.
Designed to be elegant and timeless, the design included the construction of 165 enormous reinforced steel triangles that are connected using 98 nodes.
Even though the construction has not been finished yet, the design of the megaroof by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill for the king of Saudi Arabia has merited an award from the American Society of Landscape Architects.
Although this design can be considered award material for architects, the opposite can be said by the engineers tasked to construct this megaroof and make sure it wouldn’t be a waste of Abdullah’s money and time.
Luca Frattari, an engineer from the firm tasked to construct the King Abdullah Megaroof said the design of the joints are one of the most complicated he has ever encountered.
Frattari added the joints must be able to endure the harsh effects of the weather and high temperatures of Saudi Arabia while maintaining structural integrity.