Home Featured Aquellum: NEOM’s audacious subterranean dream

On this fascinating journey into Aquellum, I would find myself envisioning a hidden wonderland situated within a mountain’s belly. Picture this: a secret underground canal accessible only by a boat, leading to a vibrant tapestry of gravity-defying skyscrapers and complete with verdant rooftop gardens as well as a bustling boulevard. Aquellum is not a whimsical fantasy but it’s a mind-bending chapter in NEOM, Saudi Arabia’s ambitious megaproject reshaping urban development.

Let’s look back into NEOM’s roots. Started in 2017, NEOM aspires to be more than just a city. It is a self-sustaining ecosystem, a beacon of innovation, sustainability, and luxurious living sprawling over 26,500 square kilometers along the Red Sea coastline. It weaves together three interconnected regions. OXAGON, a cognitive metropolis powered by AI and robotics, TROJAN, a logistical and manufacturing powerhouse. and The 2nd one is LINE, a 170-kilometer linear city slicing through the desert.

Now, Aquellum, nestled within TROJAN, adds a unique twist to NEOM’s narrative. This subterranean marvel pushes architectural and technological boundaries, promising a sensory journey unlike any other.

Let’s dive into the adventure. The world’s first floating marina marks the starting point, where you board sleek vessels for a thrilling descent through the concealed canal. As you emerge, a 100-meter-high vertical expanse reveals a hidden world bathed in natural light filtering through the mountaintop.

Aquellum’s inverted skyscrapers defy gravity, their facades facing inward onto a central courtyard—a vibrant urban canyon buzzing with activity. This social heart seamlessly blends hotels, apartments, retail outlets, leisure zones, and innovation hubs, fostering a sense of community and interconnectedness.

NEOM’s long-term vision aligns with my belief in sustainable living, pioneering renewable energy, protecting the environment, and fostering a collaborative, inclusive society. Aquellum embodies this vision, integrating cutting-edge technology with mindful design and a harmonious blend of progress and respect for the natural world.

Transitioning from imagination to reality, Aquellum is still in its early stages, with the floating marina and initial access tunnels taking shape since construction began in 2023. The ambitious timeline aims for partial completion by 2025, envisioning full realization in the following years.

Yet challenges and whispers surround NEOM’s grand scale and futuristic aspirations. Critics express concerns about the environmental impact, potential human rights implications, and the financial feasibility of such a colossal undertaking. The Saudi government, however, remains steadfast in its commitment to sustainability, ethical practices, and responsible development.

Despite challenges, NEOM, and Aquellum within it represent a bold experiment shaping the future of urban living. This audacious project pushes the boundaries of imagination, offering a glimpse into a world where technology and nature coexist and human ingenuity redefines the city concept. Whether Aquellum lives up to its ambitious promises remains to be seen, but its journey is undoubtedly one to watch with bated breath.

So, as I reflect on this subterranean wonder, the question arises: will you dare to dive into Aquellum and experience the future firsthand?

Shayne Heffernan

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