The Public Pensions Agency (PPA) is to issue a request for proposals for the design of 20 towers in Riyadh’s King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD), with a combined project value of SR7bn ($2bn).

The towers will be split into five packages of four buildings, none of which will be more than 80 metres in height.

According to Waleed Aleisa, project manager for the KAFD scheme at the PPA, local and international designers are being approached to carry out the work.

Maximum height of towers 80 metres
Number of towers being built 20
Cost of development $2bn
Source: MEED

The design work for the towers is expected to take six months to complete, after which tenders for the construction of the buildings will be issued. Construction is expected to begin on site by the start of 2010.

The PPA is also set to award a contract to masterplan a plaza at the centre of the financial district, to Danish firm Henning Larsen Architects (HLA).

A verbal agreement has been made between the two parties and an award is expected to be announced by the end of February. HLA will be solely responsible for all architectural design within the plaza, as well as carrying out detailed engineering and transport studies.

The masterplan will incorporate retail, leisure and business facilities, and ensure the area blends in well with the surrounding high-rise structures.

The design period is expected to last nine months, with tenders for construction on the plaza to be issued by October.

The plaza will be surrounded by five high-rise buildings including the 380-metre Capital Market Authority (CMA) tower.

Tenders for the first phase excavation package for the CMA tower are expected to be issued by June, having originally been targeted for January.

US’ architect HOK won the SR170m design contract for the tower, which will be the tallest in Riyadh when it is completed in late 2008. It is working in collaboration with Riyadh-based architect Omrania & Associates.

Aleisa says the PPA is also planning to invite expressions of interest for the district-cooling package for the 1.6 square kilometre KAFD site.