Kingdom Tower Elevator

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A room without a view

The Kingdom Tower building is a 99-story skyscraper in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The billion dollar structure is crowned by a 56-meter long, 300-tonne, glass and steel bridge that leads to the observation deck. The view, a third of a kilometer into the arabian skies, it’s pretty amazing.

Interestingly enough, none of the elevators that take you there have windows in them. No way for you to peek out as you climb the 99 stories at high speed.

We thought this was a real bummer… and an opportunity for doing something really fun.

The 4k digital window pane

May 12, 2015. The skybridge elevator open its doors to reveal a wall-sized, high-resolution screen array for the first time. The 4k digital window shows a busteling Riyadh going about its business at rush hour. Huddled avenues run straight into a vanishing point beyond the blurred desert horizon, beset on all sides by shiny totems of modernism and long martial lines of seemingly cloned trees.

The window is designed to respond to altitude and time of the day. So you get to see the ground dwindle beneath you as you climb up into a golden sunset and, an hour later, marvel at a million flickering lights as you plunge back down into the night.

The 45-second trip is just too short now.

Installation and content

What you see through the window is really a painstakingly detailed, 3D representation of Riyadh. The animation is designed to render beautiful scenery, at any angle during the from the ground to the apex.

The setup is also time-aware, so it will light differently at morning, afternoon and night and could be configured further to match or hide meteorologic events and whether conditions.

As content can be updated remotely, all kinds of fictional elements can be added into the mix. It makes no difference whether hyper-realistic or wildly distorted, the reality of movement and the building itself around you makes it all feel so authentic.

Snowfall in the desert? Not impossible.



Designed, directed and produced by Ibercover Studio

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