Orcutt Winslow
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Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Like a bouquet of colorful flowers blossoming among the desert dunes, the three towers of the Vertropolis complex reach toward the Riyadh sky. By day, they glitter beneath the sun; in the evening, they glow softly against the darkening sky in hues that shift and ripple through the color spectrum.

With the tallest of the towers twisting gracefully over 400 meters into the heavens atop a trio of sand dune-inspired podiums, the complex embodies the modernist notion of “sculptural objects in the landscape”—a gleaming oasis rising out of the wilderness.

 Vertropolis is a mixed-use “super block” centered on a true “city in the sky”—a visionary vertical master planned development that promises to become the most desirable business, residential and commercial address in Riyadh. Water is the dominant landscape element here, with large water features—including a pair of water parks—helping to reinforce the impression of the Vertropolis development as a verdant oasis. The complex will also stand as a leading example of green design because of its “whole-building” approach to sustainability, setting a new benchmark in the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings in the region. Vertropolis demonstrates the principles of a self-sustaining and ecologically sympathetic created environment, an innovative urban and architectural solution for a thriving, forward-looking 21st century city.


  • 2008 Award of Excellence, American Institute of Architects