Innovation City Competition Scheme
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Transforming an arid Wadi into a National Treasure

Sector

Masterplanning

Challenge

We were asked to respond to a design competition to create a new mixed-use innovation hub for Riyadh. The hub would stand as a centre of excellence and learning for all of Saudi Arabia. The proposed site, surrounding a section of the Wadi Hanifah, would include a residential zone, hotels, offices, conference centres, and a collection of cultural institutions specialising in education, creative and digital media, technology culture and arts.

Solution

Our proposal put these cultural assets together as families along the edge of the striking central Wadi. Through this approach, the assets would share common streets and spaces with each other, ensuring a healthy interaction of different user groups at all times of the day. This clustering of related assets would maximise and encourage engagement between users, the wider community and visitors. The striking natural Wadi, which runs along the middle of the site, would be embraced as the spine of the city, and the water that flows through it would act as it’s life-blood, transforming this arid Wadi into a national treasure.

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