In 2009, RIVA Engineering embarked on a project that would etch its name in the annals of architectural history. Tasked with creating a glass façade for the Makkah Royal Clock Tower, the third tallest building in the world, RIVA rose to the challenge with the construction of the "Jewel" – a six-story high glass façade structure perched 500 meters above the ground, resembling a colossal, greenish gemstone. This engineering feat, which now houses a research institute for Islamic studies, represents the pinnacle of RIVA's commitment to innovation and quality.
The Jewel's grandeur is matched by its engineering complexity. The façade's light and elegant structure is a testament to RIVA's design philosophy, combining functionality with aesthetic splendor. The glass façades, particularly for the Shamiyah Expansion Project, are extraordinary in every sense. They boast the largest shaped insulated glass panes of their quality ever produced, some towering up to 25 meters. These panes are supported by a glass structure that imparts an unparalleled lightness and elegance.
Each pane is a work of art, adorned with elaborate ornamentation that accentuates the building's architecture. In some cases, the glass is coated with real gold, adding to the façade's luxurious appeal. The glass fins that provide the necessary stiffness and safety to the façade structure are in themselves a marvel of engineering. Composed of five individually shaped, hardened safety glass panes laminated with titanium, these fins are a testament to RIVA's innovative approach to construction.
The frames that hold these glass elements are precision-engineered masterpieces, milled from solid blocks of stainless steel and aluminum. Some are even gold-plated, contributing to the project's exclusivity and quality. The Teflon-based coating applied to these frames ensures durability and resistance to pollution and staining, further elevating the façade's functional resilience.
Below these towering glass elements, the North Bridges feature pivoting windows that operate automatically, controlled by the building management system. These windows enhance the façade's lightweight appearance and operate without any visible frames, seamlessly connecting to form a weather-tight seal when closed.
RIVA's glass façade elements for the South Elevation and the North Bridges are not just constructed; they are engineered to exceed all expectations. The project outlines for the Shamiyah - South Elevation and North Bridges - Facade Elements reveal the scale of this undertaking, with thousands of square meters of façade elevation, hundreds of individual façade elements, and a significant amount of gold-plated area, stainless steel, and laminated safety glass.
This project is a testament to RIVA's half-century legacy of façade engineering and manufacturing excellence, showcasing their ability to deliver custom-engineered solutions that meet the highest standards of quality and durability.