Saudi Arabia has unveiled an ambitious plan to build the world’s largest structure, the Mirror Line – comprising two glass reflective buildings standing tall at 488 m and running parallel for 120 km across coastal, mountain and desert terrain – in the kingdom’s northwest region, said a report.
The two buildings will be connected via walkways, and a high-speed train that will run underneath them. The Mirror Line also boasts concept designs such as integrated vertical farming, a marina for yachts, and a sports stadium built up to 305 m above ground – and all this come at a price tag of a whopping $1 trillion, reported The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
On completion, it will be home to 5 million people who will be able to travel end-to-end within a 20-minute stretch, the report added.
The designs of The Line, a mega project within Saudi Arabia’s $500-billion futuristic city Neom, were unveiled late last month by HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and Chairman of the Neom Board of Directors.
A revolution in urban living at Neom, The Line is a 170-km belt of hyper-connected future communities, without cars and roads and built around nature. It is a direct response to some of the most pressing challenges facing humanity today such as legacy infrastructure, pollution, traffic, and human congestion, said Neom.
The designs of The Line embody how urban communities will live in the future in an environment free from roads, cars and emissions. It will run on 100 per cent renewable energy and prioritise people’s health and well-being over transportation and infrastructure as in traditional cities. It puts nature ahead of development and will contribute to preserving 95 per cent of Neom’s land.
The announcement reveals the most important characteristics of The Line, which is only 200 m wide, 170 km long and 500 m above sea level. It will eventually accommodate nine million residents and will be built on a footprint of 34 sq km.
This, in turn, will reduce the infrastructure footprint and create never-before-seen efficiencies in city functions. Its ideal climate all year round will ensure that residents can enjoy surrounding nature when walking around. Residents will also have access to all facilities in The Line within a five-minute walk, in addition to a high-speed rail with an end-to-end transit of 20 minutes.
Prince Mohammed bin Salman said: “At The Line’s launch last year, we committed to a civilisational revolution that puts humans first based on a radical change in urban planning. The designs for the city’s vertically layered communities will challenge the traditional flat, horizontal cities and create a model for nature preservation and enhanced human livability. The Line will tackle the challenges facing humanity in urban life today and will shine a light on alternative ways to live.”
“We cannot ignore the livability and environmental crises facing our world’s cities, and Neom is at the forefront of delivering new and imaginative solutions to address these issues. Neom is leading a team of the brightest minds in architecture, engineering and construction to make the idea of building upwards a reality.”
The Line offers a new approach to urban design: the idea of layering city functions vertically while giving people the possibility of moving seamlessly in three dimensions (up, down or across) to access them is a concept referred to as’ Zero Gravity Urbanism’. Different from just tall buildings, this concept layers public parks and pedestrian areas, schools, homes and places for work, so that one can move effortlessly to reach all daily needs within five minutes.
The Line will have an outer mirror facade that will provide its unique character and allow even its small footprint to blend with nature, while the interior will be built to create extraordinary experiences and magical moments. It will be created by a team of world-renowned architects and engineers, led by Neom, to develop this revolutionary concept for the city of the future.
In order to change business as usual, the city’s design will be completely digitised, and the construction industrialised to a large degree by significantly advancing construction technologies and manufacturing processes.
The announcement of The Line’s designs is a continuation of Neom’s progress in the development of its flagship projects such as Oxagon, its reimagined manufacturing and innovation city; and Trojena, its global mountain tourism destination that will offer the Arabian Gulf’s first outdoor skiing; as well as the launch of two of Neom’s subsidiaries: Enowa, its energy, water and hydrogen company; and the Neom Tech & Digital Company.