- Construction work on The Line has begun. It is said to be the largest structure ever built by man on Earth.
- Nine million people are expected to live in the 170 kilometer long mirror building.
- In an interview with Designboom magazine, one of the main managers now reveals more details.
The Line is taking shape. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s massive project is attracting international attention and is already under construction, part of a futuristic new city called NEOM. In an interview with design boom NEOM Director Tarek Qaddumi now talks about construction progress and what it’s like to live in the mega building.
The vision of those responsible is breathtaking. After all, nine million people, which roughly corresponds to the population of all of Switzerland, are supposed to live in the 170 kilometer long building. According to Qaddumi, this is the long-term goal. The project grows over time. After completion, approximately one and a half million people will initially move in.
Presentation: the line
In the interview, Qaddumi says the project has become a sort of religion for those responsible. The city must become particularly environmentally friendly and sustainable. There should be no private car transportation. It would also take an hour or two to drive from one end to the other. Instead, high-speed trains will run underground. They should only need twenty minutes for the same journey.
In addition, there should be self-contained “pods”. “If a couple has dressed up for a party and doesn’t want to take public trains, self-driving modules are ready to take them to their destination. But there won’t be any private vehicles,” Qaddumi says. The nacelles are mainly intended to move vertically in the building, from floor to floor.
The Line also has its own airport. The manager imagines the trip there as follows: Travelers do not have to worry about their luggage, they will be picked up at home. Then you “travel” to the airport by train and pod. There is no passport control or the like – everything works biometrically.
The manager of The Line discusses the advantages of the construction method in an interview. Interlocking dwellings, the general construction of the building would contribute to the fact that the architecture takes up less space, the deserts can become deserts again and the forests can become forests again.
Friends, hospitals, parks, schools, universities – all within walking distance for future residents. Tarek Qaddumi speaks of “hyper-proximity” in this context. There shouldn’t be classic urban neighborhoods in The Line. The architect does not see a disadvantage for apartments located lower than those located higher, as the lower level residential units would have better direct access to the surrounding nature. A “height hierarchy” would not exist.
About the mirror front
Of course, there will be people who absolutely want to move to higher apartments because of the view. But even the middle and lower units would benefit from spectacular views. The mirrored front ensures heat reflection.
In addition, some parts of the facade can be opened to let in fresh air. Filters purify the air. They are currently experimenting with different types of glass that are supposed to create unique light effects.
Since NEOM is a zero-emission zone, The Line must also be fossil fuel and CO2-emission free. The huge building is to be supplied with energy using solar, wind and hydropower.
This ensures that the currently needed power source is always in use – which could become a problem, especially at night. There should be huge storage facilities to counter supply bottlenecks.
Regarding the progress of the work in progress
Construction work on The Line began in 2021. This is where the first stone of the “backbone” was laid. This is the 170 kilometer long base structure on which The Line will be built. The foundation stone for the first residential modules was laid in spring 2022.
According to the timetable, The Line will be ready for the first million people to move in by 2030. An ambitious project. But currently, you are within the time limit. You can read the full interview at this place read in English.
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