Sou Fujimotot's Outlook Tower

Sou Fujimoto’s secret Saudi tower

The Japanese architect’s master plan in Jeddah is both ‘confidential’ and practically transparent

In the Britain, the Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto caught the public’s imagination with this summer’s light and airy temporary pavilion for London’s Serpentine Gallery.

Elsewhere in the world, he’s gaining notoriety for a crazy-looking ‘confidential’ master plan, destined for an unnamed Arabian city.



Though he hasn’t announced this officially the location, we hear that this project, dubbed his Outlook Tower, made from a myriad transparent arching modules that are stacked to form off-centre pyramid-like shapes, has been drawn up for the Saudi Arabian Red Sea city of Jeddah.

The architect apparently took his cue from the silhouettes of Bedouin tents, while the tower itself will connect the shoreline with the tropical waters. Jeddah's corniche is already a pleasant place to visit, with a fairly good open-air sculpture park with a couple of nice Henry Moores.

The Outlook Tower and accompanying water plaza will feature a series of intersecting waterfalls, ending in a vast water semi-enclosed pool at the bottom of the structure. Meanwhile, a ventilation funnel, in the style of an Arabian wind catcher, will draw cool air into the arched interiors.



Sounds ambitious, doesn’t it? Indeed, Fujimoto’s master plan could be part of a vast project already underway to renovate and enlarge Jeddah. The city is Saudi’s second biggest, and has a beautiful, though somewhat decrepit old quarter, and larger, sprawling suburbs.

Could Fujimoto’s tower bring a bit of order to the place? We hope so. Find out more about this project over at Designboom. For greater insight into visionary architecture around the world, why not try our Architecture Travel Guide App. Buy it from the people who made it, here.