BIG named as masterplanner of Neom's octagonal port city
Danish studio BIG has been named as the masterplanner of the floating port city of Oxagon, which is part of the Neom development in Saudi Arabia, at an exhibition taking place during the Venice Architecture Biennale.
The studio is listed as a contributor to the Neom project alongside UK studio Adjaye Associates, Austria studios Coop Himmelb(l)au and Delugan Meissl Associated Architects, Italian practices Studio Fuksas and Luca Dini Design and Architecture, and German studio LAVA, at the Zero Gravity Urbanism exhibition that opened today in Venice.
Set within an art gallery on Venice's Grand Canal, the exhibition showcases the upcoming cities being developed as part of the wide Neom development in northwest Saudi Arabia.
The exhibition includes models of The Line – a planned 170-kilometre linear city – as well as the Trojena ski resort, Sindalah island resort and the port city of Oxagon, which is attributed to BIG.
Described as the "world's largest floating structure", the development will be an octagon-shaped port and logistics hub. It is planned to be built on the Red Sea in the far south of the Neom region to connect with ships travelling through the Suez Canal.
The exhibition showed models and visualisations of the distinctive octagonal port. While part of the city will be on land, a large section will be a floating structure protruding into the Red Sea.
Neom's developers claim that this off-shore section, which will be arranged around water-filled squares connected by small canals, will become the "world's largest floating structure" when it is completed.
Along with shipping facilities, the development will contain a cruise terminal and oceanographic research centre.
Oxagon is one of 10 regions that make up the controversial Neom project.
It also includes a luxury island designed by Luca Dini Design and Architecture, a ski resort designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, UNStudio, Aedas, LAVA and Bureau Proberts and a 170-kilometre-long city named The Line.
We recently created a guide to Neom, which has been criticised on both sustainability and human rights grounds. Human rights organisation ALQST has reported that three members of the Huwaitat tribe, who are believed to have criticised displacements connected to Neom, have been sentenced to death.
Early this month UN Human Rights Council experts "expressed alarm" over the imminent executions.