Riyadh's new financial district sets example for future growth
The goal of the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) is to provide a new financial district that emphasises the integration of business and recreational activities, creating a significant identity within an attractive setting for the financial district and the citizens of Riyadh. Programmatic components include office, residential, educational, sports, retail and cultural facilities. Four individual parcels (2.09, 2.14, 4.07-4.08) comprise FXFOWLE’s portion of the development, but were considered and designed as a single project.
The design of FXFOWLE’s KAFD Parcels proposes a separation between pedestrian walkways, vehicular traffic, and public spaces within each site. The firm’s intent is to create dynamic, visually porous structures that acknowledge the edge conditions of the building while also drawing attention to three distinct levels of public space. A traditional Wadi – a dry river bed that collects water runoff – unifies and connects the four structures, one of which is a Mosque. Enclosed pedestrian skywalks encourage circulation while a monorail system promotes the use of public transportation.
FXFOWLE’s KAFD Parcels embody the principles of environmentally responsible building design and related construction methodologies. Environmental modeling software was used to develop the building forms in response to sun and shadow patterns, permitting natural lighting and views while mitigating solar gain. Energy-reducing sun shades are integral to all building facades. FXFOWLE’s buildings will be some of the first LEED certified projects in Saudi Arabia, and – as the first realised construction projects in the development – have established a true interpretation of the conceptual master plan. FXFOWLE’s efforts in this regard, combined with client commitment for environmentally responsible design and the creation of a pedestrian friendly environment will set an example for the future growth of this region. All four parcels are currently under construction.