FROM THE ARCHITECTS: Soaring 1,260 feet above the surrounding cityscape, the PIF Tower is the tallest of the five structures that make up the financial plaza of the King Abdullah Financial District. The team designed the iconic tower as the centerpiece of this new office district. It symbolizes the beginning of a new era of global financial leadership within Saudi Arabia’s capital city. Representing timelessness and openness, the tower’s transparency relates to the cultural value of the crystals found along the wadis in the Saudi Arabian desert. This transparency creates internal openness and provides access to natural light within the workplace. A high-performance solar control system moderates the intense Saudi light and heat. An external layer of fins, gantries and perforated panels provides shade, amplifying the thermal efficiency of the triple-pane, unitized glazing. Together, these shading devices minimize solar gain and internal cooling loads, reducing HVAC requirements. Electrical energy is reclaimed through a photovoltaic array installation on the tower’s roof. Eliminating copper-wire-based distribution systems for data and security further reduces internal heat gain. The design uses the “cool” technologies of wireless communication, air-blown fiber optics and converged networks. The intelligent infrastructure merges voice, data and video networks to reduce costs, centralize management and boost productivity. To accommodate future expansion and upgraded technology, all systems have redundant capacity. The podium structure at the base of the tower integrates public circulation with private amenity spaces, including dining facilities and a two-story auditorium. HOK designed the tower, which is expected to achieve LEED Gold certification, in collaboration with Omrania & Associates.