A Concept for a City in the MENA Region, Saudi Arabia

Jean-François Milou, principal architect
Chow Khoon Toong, project team member
Jiarong Goh, project team member
Trung Nguyen, project team member
Luong Trung Hieu, project team member
Consultancy Service scope
Preliminary Design
Bidding mode
70 ha

Our concept seeks to create, within the city’s historical district, a spectacular architectural iconography that resonates with the heritage of the historic district through a distinctly contemporary aesthetic.

Inspired by the monumental verticality of the city’s traditional adobe architecture, the design concept fuses archetypical columns forms with and modern simplicity, to create a unifying public promenade. This architectural itinerary flows from one palace to another, a sort of contiguous oasis linking each of the Royal Palaces and meandering through the former the farm site and park. The pillars, quintessential representations of the palace structures, simplified to a state of purity and stillness, will be surrounded by vegetation, offering morning and afternoon shade and give visitors a coherent experience and understanding of the heritage sites as part of the city’s dynamic and living 21st Century urban landscape. At the same time, they will offer meditative and welcoming spaces in a fast-moving society and world.

The promenade is also a monumental sculpture park, which allows the option of creating, within its structures, innovative and recreational as well as commercial spaces dedicated to presenting, for example, the diverse arts, crafts and living traditions of the city.

While access to the promenade will be subject to weather conditions, the distinct visual appeal of this large urban design will remain a constant and iconic marker of the district’s renewal as a multi-faceted destination that can seamlessly integrate cultural, leisure, corporate and other creative endeavours.

An iconic promenade of earthen pillars, giving shade and unity

A spectacular architectural iconography that resonates with the heritage of the historic district.

The monumental sculpture park.

Archetypical columns forms,

The sunken courtyard.