Dezeen Magazine

Atkins appointed as delivery partner for The Line in Neom

Atkins appointed as delivery partner for The Line in Neom

UK architecture and engineering studio Atkins is the latest studio to have been officially announced as working on The Line megacity in Saudi Arabia.

Atkins, which is part of conglomerate SNC-Lavalin, was officially announced as a delivery partner for The Line after signing a five-year contract.

"Intent is to radically transform the way major infrastructure projects are delivered"

The architecture and engineering studio will provide project and construction management consultancy services that include the design, procurement and commissioning of the project.

"The Line is a truly ground-breaking, world-first project and we are proud to have the opportunity to bring our global engineering, digital and net-zero expertise to help create a lasting legacy for the Kingdom and its people," said SNC-Lavalin's Philip Hoare.

"As a delivery partner organisation, we will work closely with Neom and our partners to seamlessly connect people, data and technology to drive innovation, value, efficiency and certainty on the project," Hoare said.

"Our combined intent is to radically transform the way major infrastructure projects are delivered and The Line, with its vision and complexity, provides a great opportunity to demonstrate what our industry can achieve."

Few Neom companies officially announced

Despite the scale of the project, with The Line planned to be 170-kilometres long, Atkins is one of a limited number of companies that have been officially announced as working on designing and building the mega city.

Alongside Atkins, US studio Aecom is listed as a partner on the Neom website.

The designer of Neom is widely understood to be US studio Morphosis. The studio was one of several named within a recent exhibition of The Line in Riyadh. However, the exhibition did not make clear the extent of involvement of each studio it named, and several featured told Dezeen that they are no longer working on the project.

The Line will be one of 10 regions within the vast Neom project. We recently wrote an explainer of the project that outlines its major elements.

Other studios that have been officially announced as working on Neom include UK studio Zaha Hadid Architects, Dutch practice UNStudio, US studio Aedas, German studio LAVA and Australian studio Bureau Proberts, which are all working on the design of the Trojena ski resort.

Along with being one of the world's largest projects, Neom is also one of the most controversial. It has been criticised by experts for its sustainability and liveability claims.

It has also been under scrutiny for its human rights record, with human rights organisation ALQST reporting that three people who were forcibly evicted from the Neom site in 2020 had been sentenced to death.

Speaking to Dezeen, Amnesty International's Peter Frankental said that companies working on Neom were facing a "moral dilemma" and should "think twice" about their continuing involvement in the project.