JCDC awards design contract for Oceanarium and Coral Farm landmark to SOM

The contract awarded after SOM won a global design competition for the project

Jeddah Central Development Company (JCDC) has awarded the design contract for its Oceanarium and Coral Farm landmark building in its mega Jeddah Central Project to Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM).

In a statement, JCDC said it had organised a global design competition and received highly competitive entries from design firms from around the world. It explained that the competition required firms to create a visionary architectural design for the Oceanarium and Coral Farm building, while also capturing the cultural essence of Jeddah.

Entries would also have to maintain a destination that satisfies today’s market needs and finally after fulfilling all criteria SOM was declared the winner, the statement continued.

CEO Engineer Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Al Sulaim highlighted the company’s role in achieving a key PIF and Saudi Vision 2030 objective through diversifying and enriching the tourism and entertainment industries to help build a thriving economy and more vibrant society.

The masterplan for the Jeddah Central Project was first unveiled in December 2021.

“The signing of these contracts comes as part of our plans to develop a project that will contribute to the growth of the national economy and the creation of jobs for Saudi nationals, all while providing Jeddah residents and visitors with a wide range of cultural and recreational destinations,” he stated.

Once completed, the Oceanarium and Coral Farm will bring the underwater world right to visitors and cement Jeddah’s position as a regional and global sustainable marine conservation leader. The new landmark’s design will highlight Jeddah’s authentic architecture and reflect its contemporary identity, while adhering to international standards, the statement said.

Chief Development Officer Paul O’Brien said the construction of the new landmarks will help attract both local and global quality investments for the development and operation of the JCDC’s unique facilities.

It will pave the way for investors to participate in the creation of new promising economic sectors in one of Saudi Arabia’s most attractive areas, he concluded.

In March 2022, JCDC inked a deal for land for Phase One of the Jeddah Central project, and in early June, JCDC said that Dar Al Handasah will be responsible for the design and technical consultation of the project’s masterplan.

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