According to multiple sources, 12 studios have been named as working on the controversial project, The Line, in Saudi Arabia. Here’s what we know…
Ever since we first dropped the news of a futuristic 106-mile, mirrored metropolis to emerge in Saudi Arabia, named The Line, the demand to know more among the design and architecture community has been off the scale. Lines have been drawn over how ethical and sustainable the ambitious – some would argue controversial – engineering and architectural project will be. Questions have been raised over the oil-rich country’s track record with human rights and many are wondering how the development can be sustainable given the size of the build – roughly the size of Belgium – and the materials required for the project.
Since drone footage was revealed on social media, though, any trepidation as to whether The Line was just another make-belief concept was wiped away. From what we can see, construction has started and it looks like progress is being made on the project that is due for completion in 2030. And now, making the project even more real, the architecture studios involved have apparently been named.
Developed by Neom, The Line’s mirrored-wall city will cost a reported $500 Billion to design, and it will create 380,000 jobs. While on the outside The Line will reflect dessert landscape, inside the urban city is expected to contain residential, hospitality, and leisure spaces as well as vertical gardens and educational buildings. Each building will be stacked and layered in an arranged that the visionaries behind its concept are calling ‘Zero Gravity Urbanism’.
Within the space of just 200 metres, the city in-between two perfectly parallel mirrored walls, is said to house nine million people. The structure, reaching 500 metres tall and stretching more than 106 miles, if built, will become the 12th tallest – and by far the longest – building in the world. So who will be responsible for designing it?
According to Architects’ Journal and later Dezeen, the 12 architecture studios are working on the project include Adjaye Associates, Morphosis, Studio Fuksas and Coop Himmelb(l)au, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, Tom Wiscombe Architecture, Oyler Wu Collaborative, HOK, CHAP, Delugan Meissl Associated Architects and UNStudio.
It is unclear, at present, which studio will be responsible for what. And given that all are refusing to comment, this information is going to, if ever, be revealed at later stages of the build. For now, the design and architecture community continue to question the development’s social impact on Saudi Arabia and its people, while also being intrigued, dare we say inspired, by the forward-thinking approach from Neom.
Main image credit: Neom