King Abdullah Financial District




Henning Larsen Architects has devised a set of guidelines for sustainability.

The heart of the district is a transformation of the Arabian wadi Hanifa transversing the area. The district will become an active and attractive urban space comprising financial institutions, residential and recreational areas, shops, restaurants, hotels, conference and sports facilities.

The district will feature something as unique as a Saudi Arabian monorail connecting the various areas of the district. All buildings and monorail stations are linked together by air-conditioned footbridges above street level enabling walking distance to all meetings in the Financial District – quite extraordinary for Riyadh.

Site area: 160 hectares

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Project facts

Project facts

Location: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Client: Capital Market Authority og Public Pensions Agency
Year of design: 2006 - 2010
Type of assignment: First prize in international competition
Site area: 160 hectares

Sustainable urban development

Sustainable urban development

During the building phase Henning Larsen Architects acts as consultants ensuring that the proposed scheme achieves a standard that will be seen as a world-class example of sustainable development.

By optimising the building proportions the outdoor temperature has been lowered by 6-8 degrees Celsius. Also the use of light facade materials maintaining humidity, vegetation and water features in the landscape help achieve the lower temperature.


Facades are varied in respect to orientation in order to enhance energy saving.

Local materials reduce energy consumption for transportation.

Quality materials have a long lifetime and require a minimum of maintenance.

Solar cells placed on roofs and integrated into the facades.

Transparency of facades designed to create the best indoor environment controlling heat from the sun and daylight.

Shading of facades to reduce cooling loads and to lower outdoor temperature.

Use of roofscapes to achieve sustainable objectives.

Skywalks that connect the buildings and an integrated public transport system help reduce the need for cars. Skywalks are energy neutral and powered by solar energy.

King Abdullah Financial District entails district cooling.

Intelligent lighting reduces energy consumption.

Furthermore, the Project Environmental Sustainability Policy gives specific guidelines for

  • Water
  • Global Atmospheric Impacts and Local Air Quality
  • Energy
  • Outdoor Environments
  • Indoor Environments
  • Land use and Ecology
  • Materials and Waste



King Abdullah Financial District will become an important part of Riyadh. It will provide a public space financial institutions, residential and recreational areas, shops, restaurants, hotels, conference and sports facilities.

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Construction site in Google Earth


  • Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


Partner, Architect MAA
Phone: +45 8233 3069
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