King Abdullah Financial District
Guided by the master plan by Copenhagen based Henning Larsen Architects, HM White has collaborated with FXFOWLE Architects in completing four of the first mix-use development parcels and responsible for designing the surrounding public spaces which reinforce the urban plan’s design principals. As Saudi Arabia’s first LEED certified buildings, each site adjoins a central meandering public park known as the ‘Wadi’ which serves as a central organizing public landscape that connects a sequence of smaller neighborhood districts. HM White’s designs for streetscape, building entrances and adjoining courtyards and plazas have been configured to increase the Wadi’s permeability and connectivity through transitional topographic landscape manipulations. A rigorous environmentally sensitive doctrine governs each landscape design intervention through water conservation and micro-climatic mitigation strategies. Each parcel’s modest irrigation needs are met and sourced from gray and storm water harvesting. Vegetated areas on both the street level and numerous public roofs employ water conserving plant communities, indigenous to regional arid conditions. The planting network performs a vital role in spatially organizing and comforting the public spaces. Indigenous stones and their surface patterning are integrated with each landscape and seating element to establish a visually compelling and memorable sense of place. Sustainable, healthy vegetative growth are ensured through an extensive subsurface planting and growing media infrastructure which has been integrated and coordinated with the buildings’ super structure and site utilities. Legible landscape typologies reference regional environmental conditions and are revealed through the networked sequence of plazas, courts, streetscapes and roof terraces.