Kaust Beacon with Artist Daniel Tobin
A contemporary lighthouse and centrepiece for the KAUST campus.
What does the KAUST Beacon represent?
bureau^proberts and Urban Art Projects collaborated to create a landmark beacon for the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The KAUST Beacon reinforces ideas of unity, clarity and transformation, weaving together scientific and mathematical thought, site specificity and cultural histories. The structure rises 60 metres from the sea, appearing like coral clusters growing and expanding. Building blocks of amorphous hexagonal concrete sections combine to create the dramatic spire sheltering interior spaces designed for gathering and reflection.
How was the KAUST Beacon constructed?
The KAUST Beacon comprises 187 individually cast amorphous hexagonal concrete blocks, each weighing up to 18 tonnes. The tower was constructed in three sections with each relying on the assistance of mobile cranes to lift pre-cast elements into place. The lower spire was completed by slotting together exterior and interior pre-cast elements, sandwiching steel reinforcement and in-situ concrete between to create a self-supporting structure. The slender upper spire of the tower is made solely from pre-cast blocks. The durable and high-quality off-white concrete has a predicted life span of 100 years.