KAFD Conference Center: An Integrated Design/Analysis Approach

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KAFD Conference Center: An Integrated Design/Analysis Approach

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

The importance of productive collaboration between architects and structural engineers has long been recognized as vital to the creation of successful and inspired buildings. The intimate cooperation between the architectural and engineering groups is a major defining force of the multi-disciplinary design firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP (SOM). Rigorous structural analysis and optimization employed at the start of the design process contributes significantly to the creation of efficient, elegant, and functional forms. On numerous occasions an integrated design approach at all stages, from the earliest conceptual ideas through final documentation and fabrication, has proven to be of immense value to SOM's projects. This integration is enabled by the use of a range of commercially available software in combination with digital tools developed in-house to greatly enhance the flow of data between all design disciplines.

This program is a case study of the KAFD Conference Center, located in the new King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Conference Center is designed as an extension of the angular desert landscape, and its organic profile and faceted skin stitch together the building and the adjacent terrain. The state-of-the art building sets a new standard for flexible conferencing, providing a multipurpose event hall with operable walls, a 600-seat auditorium with full lecture and cinema support, and a "digital forum" approach that allows all venues to be internally and externally networked.

The building employs several profoundly innovative sustainability strategies, including an enclosure which locates areas of glazing where they are least susceptible to the harsh desert sun, a ventilation system incorporating a "solar chimney" that uses solar heat to move air through the main atrium spaces, and a roof which contains indigenous desert grasses to minimize irrigation requirements.


Company Logo:


Blake Altshuler,

Blake Altshuler
Job Title:
The Company:
SOM : Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Speaker Photo:


An Integrated Design / Analysis Approach

About the Speaker:
Company Logo:


Georgi Petrov,

Georgi Petrov
Job Title:
Structural Engineer, PE, AIA
The Company:
SOM : Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Speaker Photo:


An Integrated Design/ Analysis Approach




Presenters will discuss the benefits of early collaboration between architects and structural engineers to create an integrated design and analysis approach that includes the use of different platforms to solve complex geometry challenges.

Project Facts:

- Completion Year: 2013
- Site Area: 28,350 m2
- Project Area: 12,000 m2

Project Awards:

- 2012 • American Society of Landscape Architects - New York Chapter • Unbuilt Projects: Honor Award

About the Speaker:

Examine an Integrated Approach to Design & Analysis

Join this DESIGN [realized] Event to:

  • Recognize the benefits of early collaboration between architects and structural engineers.
  • Examine the use of different platforms solve complex geometry challenges.
  • Evaluate case studies of sharing data and information through a variety of applications.
  • Detect different uses of digital tools for form finding & refinement

Event Schedule

DESIGN [realized] offers building professionals the opportunity to participate in LIVE educational events taking place simultaneously in several cities across the US. Presentations by leading industry experts, given to a LIVE audience in the home city, are webcast to LIVE groups in other host venues.

Mountain Central Eastern
 Welcome / Introductions 12:00 PM 1:00 PM 2:00 PM 3:00 PM
 Presentation 12:05 PM 1:05 PM 2:05 PM 3:05 PM
 Local Discussions 12:45 PM 1:45 PM 2:45 PM 3:45 PM
 Presentation 1:00 PM 2:00 PM 3:00 PM 4:00 PM
 Q&A 1:45 PM 2:45 PM 3:45 PM 4:45 PM
 Adjourn 2:00 PM 3:00 PM 4:00 PM 5:00 PM

Host an Event as a Local Venue

Our DESIGN [realized] Events take place in cities around the U.S by utilizing the latest techniques in online education.

We coordinate presentations from leading industry experts webcasts to groups of participants in local offices and venues anound the nation. By participating in one of our events, you will:

  • Learn how other building professionals from around the country approach a project 
  • Get new ideas for incorporating building processes and technology into your work
  • Share building methods and techniques that are applicable locally with other group participants
  • Hear interactive Q&A discussions among presenters and participants around the U.S.

Group Discounts

Inspire new thinking among your teams by exploring the ins and outs of how leading industry professionals achieve significant project goals. By participating in the program as a group, you will have time to share ideas amongst yourselves and the opportunity to interact with our speakers.

Contact Us for More Details



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