The structural blocks were modeled using …
“one of the most advanced methods available
for assessing the performance of the blocks
in earthquake conditions.
—George Keliris, Buro Happold”Ltd., Bath, England
RENDERING COURTESY OF
FOSTER + PARTNERS
The project team working on the US$80
million Living Wall is stuck between a
rock and a hard place.
Designed by London, England-based Foster +
Partners, the mixed-use development will consist
of a set of six interconnected towers. Taking a
page from history, the structures sit on podiums
carved out of one of the city’s dramatic rock beds,
much like the ancient Jordanian site, Petra.
The façades of the towers even have screens
with horizontal lines that echo the look of rock
strata. But they’re not just a stylish flourish.
They also stimulate air circulation and provide
shade against the city’s brutal sun, says George
Keliris, project leader at Buro Happold Ltd., the
Bath, England-based engineering firm for the
The heat wasn’t the only element the project
team had to contend with. Because the region
experiences regular seismic activity, the 150,000
square-meter (1.6 million square-foot) concrete
structure had to be stabilized by dividing the base
podium into smaller blocks that could move
Still, the project’s fate is far from written in stone.
Construction—scheduled to wrap up later
this year—has come to a grinding halt due to